In the decade that we’ve been keeping records in northern Wayne County, the peak monarch migration has generally happened from mid to late September, with occasional "big" days in early October. Autumn of 2003 has been no exception, with September 21 marking a first "banner" day.

September’s heavy rain – 9.72 inches in Milanville – made things "choppier" than usual for migrants, but it was a good month for them.

The picture shows a female monarch butterfly laying a single egg on a milkweed leaf in early August. CLICK TO LEARN MORE

Beginning on September 25, a succession of cold fronts moved across the Upper Delaware River region, pushing waves of monarch butterflies ahead of them. Monarchs were daily visitors until rain showers and cold weather called a temporary halt on October 1.

In the pages below, we note the location of monarch migrants that have been reported to us, but we've kept private the names of observers.

September 29 (Milanville)

A big day. "Several dozen monarchs passed through the farm in the morning and early afternoon ahead of a cold front.Two second grade classes from Lakeside Elementary School were visiting the Butterfly Barn, and watched the monarchs glide overhead for several hours."

September 27 (Milanville)

The peak day. "Forty or 50 monarchs passed through the farm in the morning and early afternoon. Many of them singled-out a clump of zinnias in the garden — as many as eight or ten butterflies at a time."

September 27 (Honesdale)

"Three monarchs flew overhead in mid-afternoon, above a tennis court at the summit of High Street."

September 26 (Indian Orchard)

"About 2:20 p.m., a monarch crossed the Walmart parking lot. Earlier I saw one west of Narrowsburg, at the junction of Plank Road and Route # 652."

The large butterfly (top) is by Tara, a 2nd grader in Honesdale, PA.

The small butterflies are by Cassie, a 4th grader in Honesdale, PA.


Submit observations here

September 26 (Carbondale)

A big day. "About 4 p.m., two dozen monarchs were sipping nectar and roosting on wild 'boneset' flowers along a half mile of the abandoned D&H Railroad right-of-way. "

September 25 (Milanville)

A big day. "During the morning, butterflies glided singly across a meadow below the Butterfly Barn and still more flew into the garden to drink from Buddleia ('Butterfly Bush') flowers. About three dozen monarchs showed up in three hours, perhaps 'pushed' by a cold front that brought p.m.showers."

September 24 (near Route 97)

"In the early evening, I counted six monarchs near the Lake Huntington Rd., about a half mile east of Route # 97."

September 21 (Conklin Hill)

A big day. "Our garden was teeming with monarchs all day. At one point, I counted 12 on our large Eupatorium perfoliatum (common boneset) plant."

September 21 (Bethel)

"Saw a monarch flying near the Bethel Harvest Market."

September 17 to 20 (Beaver Brook)

On the porch. "Several monarchs appeared in the garden. Also, I released a monarch that was caught in my screened porch. Unusual! Not sure how it got in. I am continuing to find caterpillars in the milkweed near my house."

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