We did experience one highlight today. At about 11 am, as our seasonal field naturalist Lindsey Brendel was preparing for our daily "drop-in" program at the Triangle Park, she netted the monarch below, which bears tag WAT 878. This is not one of the tags issued to our program, so this butterfly was tagged by someone else. We're eager to learn more about this monarch. Sometimes other taggers visit Cape May and tag monarchs here, but tagging is conducted at many other locations. We're hoping this one came from a distant location -- tag recoveries teach us a lot about the direction and speed of the monarch migration.
|This Monarch was tagged on the right wing -- here in|
Cape May we tag on the left side, so we knew right
away that someone else had tagged this one.
As we wait for the season's first big influx of Monarchs, we continue to enjoy some of the southern butterflies that have been drifting north in recent weeks. One we haven't shown yet on the blog is the Ocola Skipper, shown below. Note the very long forewing that juts out well beyond the hindwing on this resting skipper -- that's typical of butterflies in the genus Panoquina, which includes the Salt Marsh Skipper, which we regularly see during the Cape May summer. The Ocola Skipper is bigger than the other eastern Panoquinas, and it's being found in Cape May gardens with increasing frequency in recent days. Come visit us at Cape May Point and you might find Ocola Skippers in the gardens and, if you're really lucky, you might arrive with a major influx of Monarchs. It's bound to happen sometime this season.