December 2019 Sightings

Harvey Tomlinson

Cox Hall Creek
Cape May County, NJ

While doing a Cape May Christmas Count we kicked up a Mourning Cloak.

[Excellent! This is our first report of the month and keeps alive our log-long streak of at least one species seen in December each year since 2008. Will we find another this year?

Our low count for December is two reports – but in that very cold December of 2010 all we had were some cold chrysalises of common buckeye found by Will Kerling in Avalon and Cape May Courthouse. jc]

  • Mourning Cloak 1

William Boyle

Nummy Island
Cape May County, NJ

Seen during Cape May Christmas Count. In cedars at the foot of the free bridge at Nummy Island (north end).

[As would be expected, most of December monarch reports over the years have come from the first week of the month. Only twice before have we had reports of monarchs flying in the last half of December – in 2016 (three reports) and 2011 (five reports). This report gives us three in 2019 – at three widely-separated spots – this one from Nummy Island, another on 12-15 in the Willow Creek Winery woods, and the latest near the Congress Hall Hotel on 12-28. (Presumably, all are doomed migrants, unfortunately.) jc]

  • Monarch 1

Karen Thompson

Willow Creek Winery woods
Cape May County, NJ

While doing the Cape May Christmas Bird Count, I spotted this guy resting on some brush in the back of the Winery. Temperature was in the mid 50s and it was sunny.

[Good find and photo. This gives us a second monarch in December 2019 (with Mike P's 12-28-19 find) and there are rumors of a third. jc]

  • Monarch 1

Monarch

Beth Polvino

Northwood Center, Cape May Point, NJ
Cape May County, NJ

A Christmas Eve surprise at the Northwood Center, Cape May Point, NJ 12/24/19 American Snout. (Also seen 2 butterflies I was unable to get good looks at while at the Cape May Point State Park, NJ)

[This report gives us two sightings of snout in December, our log's first ever for December. Jack Miller has pointed out that, since we already have records of adults in January and February, we now have good evidence that the species overwinters in South Jersey as an adult – at least in some years. jc]

  • American Snout

American Snout

Tom Bailey

Palmyra Cove NP
Burlington County, NJ

Late morning I had an Anglewing sp. zip past me.

[Nice! Our nothern-most December report in 2019 – at least so far. jc]

  • Anglewing sp. 1

Harvey Tomlinson

Cape May Point State Park
Cape May County, NJ

9:30 am 41 degrees
Red Admiral

[Exciting! Any December butterfly is exciting! jc]

  • Red Admiral 1

Red Admiral

Jack Miller

Cape May Point SP
Cape May County, NJ

Both were seen within minutes of each other around noon.

[The snout gives us four species on Christmas Eve – nice. Could others be stirring somewhere in the house of South Jersey in the next day or two? jc]

  • American Snout 1
  • Red Admiral 1

Harvey Tomlinson

My Garden Del Haven
Cape May County, NJ

Looking out the window, much to my wondering eyes should appear, a Cloudless Sulphur !!!
My camera was upstairs so no pic but I caught a glimpse of it as it headed West towards the bay.
It seemed to be checking out one of my hummer feeders when I first saw it.

[That breaks our previous latest date by ten days (12-14-15)! jc]

  • Cloudless Sulphur 1

Beth Polvino

my yard NABA #1151 & Monarch Waystation #8318
Cape May County, NJ

Continuing chrysalis.

  • Black Swallowtail 0
  • Spicebush Swallowtail 0

Beth Polvino

my yard NABA #1151 & Monarch Waystation #8318
Cape May County, NJ

My friend, Bernie and I scouted the yard today. We found 4 Common Buckeye caterpillars on snapdragons along with 4 Black Swallowtail chrysalis and several Spicebush Swallowtail chrysalis. We also found 2 Carolina Mantis egg case.

  • Black Swallowtail 0
  • Spicebush Swallowtail 0
  • Common Buckeye 0

Carolina mantis egg case

Spicebush Swallowtail

Black Swallowtail

Common Buckeye

Harvey Tomlinson

My Garden Del Haven
Cape May County, NJ

A Red Admiral came blasting thru the yard…stopped at the hummingbird feeder and kept on going!

  • Red Admiral 1

Michael Pasquarello

Congress Hall Hotel
Cape May County, NJ

Spotted this late beauty on our Autumn Olive bushes, which do bloom in the winter here. It was last seen on a piece of candy feeding.

[This late traveler gives us our sixth adult species for the month. jc]

[Update 1-3-20: Two reports of monarchs on the Cape May Christmas Bird Count on 12-15-19 came retrospectively. That gave us multiple reports of the species in the second half of December for only the third time in our log's history. jc]

  • Monarch 1

Monarch

Sam Galick

TNC: Maurice River Bluffs
Cumberland County, NJ

61 degrees and I had just mentioned how this would be a great day for butterflies. My wife spotted it first.

[Another piece of evidence that this species should be included in any list of butterflies that sometimes overwinter as adults in South Jersey. jc]

  • American Snout 1

American Snout

Cynthia Allen

My yard in CMCH
Cape May County, NJ

Red Admiral sunning on the fence at high noon. Beat my latest December record for Red Admiral, or any butterfly in the yard, which was Dec. 3, 2012.

  • Red Admiral 1

Chris Herz

Cape May Point SP
Cape May County, NJ

Mid 50 degrees.

  • Red Admiral 3

Red Admiral

Matt Webster

Cape May Point State Park
Cape May County, NJ

[Our record high count for red admrals in one spot in December? jc]

  • Red Admiral 7

Red Admiral