Butterfly sighting

Sep 6

Scott and Ann Swengel

Location: Buena Vista Grassland
Portage County

8:30 - 10:30 a.m., 63 degrees F, wind N to NW 12-20 mph, 0% sun. It felt like there was a wind chill factor as we did our regular roadside count of hawks, owls, and selected other birds. This Monarch count is a minimum and also our highest count in Wisconsin ever. Monarchs popped out of the south and southeast side trees as we drove past them in 2 locations along Lake Road (>1800 total Monarchs), including 0.5 miles west of Taft Road. Most of the Monarchs slowly flew back into the wind to clumps of Monarchs perched on the trees. On Town Line Road one clump of trees had at least 1500 Monarchs on it. We also saw a lot of Monarchs in 2 other areas. The two biggest and 4th biggest Monarch concentrations that we saw were directly adjacent to cattle grazing on the wildlife area. The 3rd biggest Monarch clump was close to but not directly next to grazing.