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I was on an Amtrack into NYC yesterday afternoon and saw some of this. There were thousands from Tarrytown to the city. There was a type of white Eupatorium, Solidagos and a few escaped Buddelias being used for nectar. The plants were covered and many in the air. I didn't see that anyone else on the train noticed and wondered how many people on the streets looked up long enough to see this marvel. I remembered a friend out birding a few years ago during a White Admiral population explosion who ran into a couple of people that hadn't noticed the multitudes until she made mention of them. This was a time when you couldn't drive down a dirt road without causing dozens of casualties and these are not small camouflaged leps.
----- Original Message -----
From: Andrew Birch
To: MassLep
Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2006 12:04 PM
Subject: [MassLep] Journey North notices MassLep -


Hello All,

I just wanted to share a couple of messages from Elizabeth Howard of
Journey North a monarch tracking org.  She really appreciates all of
the great reports from MassLep subscribers!

Andrew Birch
MassLep Moderator

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Elizabeth Howard Journey North <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Sep 28, 2006 11:01 AM
Subject: Re: Incredible! [MassLep] 13,000+ Monarchs Gooseberry 9/25]

Hello Andrew,
Monarch biologist Dr. Lincoln Brower just told me about your MassLep
listserve. I just took a look. What a fantastic coverage of the
monarch migration your're picking up!

I'm the director of Journey North ("Journey South" in the fall). We
have thousands of schools online tracking the monarch migration to
Mexico. May we add your MassLep observations from to our migration
map?
http://www.learner.org/jnorth/maps/fall2006.html?layers=monarch_peak

One of our readers read about Brian Cassie's incredible observations
and added it to the map. (I hope this is OK!)

We're picking up reports now of a large wave of migrants that crossed
NYC yesterday afternoon. Maybe coming down from Gooseberry?! What
incredible technology.

Best to you,
Elizabeth Howard
Journey North
Engaging Students in a Global Study of Wildlife Migration and Seasonal Change
http://www.learner.org/jnorth/

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Elizabeth Howard Journey North <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Sep 28, 2006 11:01 AM
Subject: Re: Incredible! [MassLep] 13,000+ Monarchs Gooseberry 9/25]

These keep coming in from yesterday and now early today. The map is
now showing monarchs along the Atlantic Coast in large numbers from
Maine to northern VA:

9/28/06 New York, New York
While riding the Metro-North Hudson Line (on the east side of the
Hudson River) to work in NYC: "They were all doggedly flying south at
different locations along the train line. None appeared beyond the
point where the tracks turn inland towards the city. I think they must
be following the course of the river. Incredibly exciting!"

9/27/06 New York, New York
"I observed approximately 100 monarchs traveling south. It was
incredible. I was so excited since I had just read to second graders
about monarch migration. I walked out of school at 3:00pm and there
they were! I was pointing them out to anyone who would listen what was
happening and where they were going."

9/27/06 New York, New York
"While sitting in an outdoor cafe in downtown NYC on 2nd Ave @ St
Marks, I observed over 170 Monarchs from 2:50 pm until aprox 4:00 pm.
The heavier traffic flow was in the first 1/2 hour (112 Monarchs).
Amazingly, they seemed to stay all along the Avenue and many appeared
as high as the 5 story buildings."

9/27/06 New York, New York
I had the pleasure of sighting at least 36 butterflies flying down
Riverside Drive at 4:30pm. At first I thought they were fluttering
leaves...until I looked closer with my binoculars...

9/27/06 New York, New York
In northern Manhattan, in front of the Children's Hospital of New
York, I looked up and counted at least 30 monarchs.

9/26/06 Ventnor, New Jersey
There were quite a few butterflies migrating this afternoon. As I sat
on the Ventnor Boardwalk, I counted butterflies coming along the beach
and the rooftops of the beach homes. Butterflies were coming in small
groups of 2-5. I tallied butterflies for one hour beginning at 4:50pm
and totalled 272 butterflies!

9/25/06 Misquamicut, Rhode Island
It was wonderful. We decided to have lunch on the beach in
Misquamicut, R.I. Hundreds, possibly thousands of beautiful monarch
butterfies were following the coastline south.  An occasional monarch
would land on the high tide seaweed line and rest for a few minutes.
None of us could believe that these fragile insects could fly so far!

9/25/06 Cape May, New Jersey
The influx of monarch's into Cape May continued today. Counted over 50
in one minute looking just straight ahead...couldn't begin to count
numbers if I turned my head. They were everywhere.

9/25/06 Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island, Virginia
Migrants were on the move for most of today during NW winds at 10mph.
Monarchs averaged about 140 per hour between 9am - 3pm. Other
migratory insects seen in huge numbers were common buckeyes, green
darners, black saddlebags and wandering glider dragonflies. Tree
swallows numbered in the thousands and there was a steady flight of
peregrines, merlins, bald eagles and osprey. Quite a day!


--Elizabeth Howard

Journey North
Engaging Students in a Global Study of Wildlife Migration and Seasonal Change
http://www.learner.org/jnorth/

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