Monday, Sept. 24 was a banner day for monarchs in Cape May. Our census came up with about 481 monarchs per hour, and for most of the day monarchs were concentrated along the beach and primary dune, a habitat not well covered by the census. Monarchs were observed streaming down the dune from Cape May west to Cape May Point, but no major exodus towards Delaware was observed.
So what about Tuesday? Predictions are dangerous -- these insects fool us sometimes -- but I'll offer my best guess. There will surely be lots of monarchs around Cape May on Tuesday morning, members of Team Monarch watched them settle into small roosts all over Cape May Point last night. Winds are predicted to blow at 10 to 20 mph from the southwest today, and if this prediction holds, we aren't likely to see many more monarchs arriving into Cape May, but not many of those who are here are likely to depart and cross to Delaware into this headwind. My best guess is that there will be good numbers of monarchs feeding on whatever flowers they can find around Cape May Point. Check the gardens, patches of English ivy, and also check the dunes -- the seaside goldenrod should begin to bloom any day now, and monarchs love the nectar from this beautiful native plant.
Watch for another post at the end of the day to see if my prediction is anywhere close to correct.