December 2020 Sightings

Jack Miller

Along 607 near Rea's farm
Cape May County, NJ

December sulphurs are underrated beauties. The Admiral was a fly-by.

[Thanks for the reports. Good to have some December records. jc]

  • Orange Sulphur 1
  • Red Admiral 1

Orange Sulphur

Jack Miller

N. Railroad Ave Rio Grande
Cape May County, NJ

Late morning, mostly sunny, upper 40's. Despite adequate sun, it was pretty quiet here. When flushed, the bflys quickly hunkered down again.

  • Orange Sulphur 2
  • Common Buckeye 2

Orange Sulphur

Common Buckeye

Mike Hannisian

Cape May Point State Park
Cape May County, NJ

Cool, sunny, breezy.

[Good finds, Mike. Can either of these species linger to the end of the month this year? Our latest-ever date for Am lady is 12-25-15; latest-ever for red admiral is 12-31-11. jc]

  • American Lady 1
  • Red Admiral 2

American Lady

Red Admiral

Harvey Tomlinson

Stone Harbor Point
Cape May County, NJ

While birding a Red Admiral came flying by. It just kept on going.

  • Red Admiral 1

Tom Baxter

Cape May Point State Park
Cape May County, NJ

At around 8:42 PM, presumably dying on the ground on the oak leaf litter.

[Your good photo of this surprising night-time find seems to indicate a fresh individual w/o obvious damage. Could it possibly be roosting and waiting for the next day's sun? jc].

  • Cloudless Sulphur 1

Cloudless Sulphur

Jack Miller

N. Railroad Ave Rio Grande
Cape May County, NJ

Sunny mid 50's. I did not get to many places today as I spent almost 2 hours trying to get a photo of one of at least 6 green darners. The one I finally got to see and photograph was munching on a honeybee. Quite the odd mid-December scene.

[Nice shot of predator and prey! jc]

  • Sulphur sp. 1
  • Clouded Sulphur 1
  • Common Buckeye 2

green darner and honeybee

Common Buckeye

Clouded Sulphur

Steven Glynn

Cape May State Park
Cape May County, NJ

Nice day, sunny and 57 degrees. Enjoyed a walk with Harvey Tomlinson early on, who's submitted some sighting numbers, but then enjoyed these afterward.

[The monarch is our first in December this year. Will it be NJ's last in 2020? jc]

  • Anglewing sp. 1
  • Red Admiral 1
  • Monarch 1

Harvey Tomlinson

Cape May Point State Park
Cape May County, NJ

Steve Glynn may add to this as I left early.
3 Admirals and a Lady sp.

  • Lady sp. 1
  • Red Admiral 3

David L. Amadio

Riverwinds River Trail & Community center
Gloucester County, NJ

Obs. made from 1:45 to 2:30, Sunny 57 with SSW13. Was able to photograph an Eastern Comma today in a warm spot along the trail. Also flushed up two other medium sized Nymphalids. likely Commas or Admirals. ( This looks like a new late date for the sp.)

[Yes, Dave, this comma breaks our latest- ever date by nearly a week: 12-5-15. It is also the northernmost butterfly reported in NJ this December and the only December 2020 report from outside CMY (so far). Good find! jc]

  • Eastern Comma 1

Eastern Comma

Tom Bailey

Laurel Run Park, Delran Township
Burlington County, NJ

2:10 to 2:50 pm. 63 degrees & partly sunny.

[The race to find the northernmost NJ December 2020 butterfly is on! ;-)

Whether you realized it or not, Tom, you are the new place-holder. Congrats! jc]

  • Sulphur sp. 1
  • Orange Sulphur 2

Steven Glynn

Sheppard Davis Road- Near Cedarville
Cumberland County, NJ

Saw it flying, got out to chase. It landed almost on my boot at a dandelion and flipped away into a private field. Good, confirming downward look at it, though.

Sunny and 63 degree today, and disappointed not to find anything else flying in the region I searched.

  • Clouded Sulphur 1

Jack McDonough

Railroad tracks headed north from the Cape May Welcome Center
Cape May County, NJ

  • Red Admiral 1
  • Common Buckeye 1

Amy Gaberlein

approx. Green Creek
Cape May County, NJ

50 mph drive-by of a fly-by… Sulphur headed north on west shoulder of Route 47 about a mile or so south of the Bayshore Road intersection at about 10:30am. (Morning a mix of clouds and sun, warm temps pushing 60°F.)

[Good find. This gives CMY its 7th species for December 2020.

Our log's latest-ever date for the species is 12-14-15, found by Steve Glynn in Cedarville, CUM. We found 14 species for the log that very warm December. jc]

  • Cloudless Sulphur 1

Mike Hannisian

Lizard Tail Swamp
Cape May County, NJ

The 2 Common Buckeyes were almost incidental to an exceptional day in mid December for Odes with a total of 4 species (Common Green Darner, Autumn Meadowhawk, Citrine Forktail, and Familiar Bluet) between two Cumberland and Cape May County sites.

  • Common Buckeye 2

Common Buckeye

Jack Miller

Dix WMA
Cumberland County, NJ

No deerflies! I was wondering if a sleepy orange might wake up in today's warmth, but was happy to settle for both male and female cloudless. As the photos show, both were mint fresh. I was out all day and spent time in a handful of spots in CUM and Belleplain area, but Dix was the only place I saw bflys. I saw green darners in 3 locations, but the shock of the day was a autumn meadowhawk at Dix.

[Nice! This gives us three counties for cloudless today! jc]

  • Cloudless Sulphur 2
  • Common Buckeye 1

Cloudless Sulphur (female)

Cloudless Sulphur (male)

David L. Amadio

Riverwinds River Trail & Community center
Gloucester County, NJ

Obs. made from 1:55 to 3:15, 62 mostly cloudy and WNW16-20. My only butterfly on this warm afternoon was a Red Admiral that flew right by me but kept on going. With the changing weather predicted this week this may be all for the season.

  • Red Admiral 1

Jesse & Jack Connor

Our yard in Port Republic
Atlantic County, NJ

A male cloudless circled around the yard a few times, landing briefly here and there, about 1:30 pm. Sunny, ~67 degrees. This breaks our yard's latest date for the species by two weeks (11-30-91, 29 years ago).

  • Cloudless Sulphur 1

Cloudless Sulphur

Jack McDonough

Railroad tracks north of the Cape May Welcome Center
Cape May County, NJ

[Our new latest NJ monarch for 2020…and with the weather predicted for mid-week, it might be the last for a while and perhaps even the last this year. jc]

  • American Lady 1
  • Monarch 1

Mark Garland

Cape May Point
Cape May County, NJ

Astoundingly, this female monarch was photographed at Cape May Point today, December 26, 2020, a day with high temperature in the low 30s after a mid-20s overnight low. She was alive, basking in the sun at a spot sheltered from the wind, moving her wings a bit to better align with the sun. We didn't move her, tag her, or even touch her – she seems to know what to do.

We don't know of many better symbols of hope and determination than this one. Here's hoping that the coming new year brings better luck to both monarchs and humans.

[An amazing find to end our 2020 year of sightings, 13 days after the previous report of any monarch or any other butterfly. It is not the latest December monarch we have ever recorded (12-31-11), but under the circumstances, it is one of the most remarkable. Thank you, Mark! Keep up the excellent work at the Point! jc]

[1-12-21 Update: Tom Reed found a monarch in Cape May Point today. See January reports. jc]

  • Monarch

Monarch