So this is Friday and we will be doing a monarch count tomorrow morning if there is no rain. Since i am close to the sanctuary, i will get up earl(ier) and check it out and let everyone else no if it is go or no. As you can see they are mostly all on one cypress tree. However, as this is mid afternoon and the temps are in the 60s, monarchs are flying all around. Sheets of them have been peeling off in flight. And looking at the clusters, you can not even tell that hundreds just flew away. (I was on the other side of the action helping the docents find a view of them through the trees to how all the hundred or so folks milling around trying to find them. Only by going out on the street and finding them and then going back into the sanctuary, could i find them myself. Which means the average visitor would never find them. Once you get used to the shape/coloration that you are looking for, most can find them. But if you are a novice, most folks walk right past them and never know that thousands of monarchs are right there.
So beautiful to watch all the flying. Temps have been so warm and there has been more flight that i usually expect to see during the mating season which happens in late Jan and Feb. I would normally be really worried about the monarchs having enough fat stored and/or being able to replace fat with nectar from plants in the area. Except that without a cold snap, the flowers are still blooming and even more starting to bloom because we have had fog and some gentle rains already this fall.
If this was later in the season when it had gotten cold enough to stop the flowers and bushes from blooming then i would be more worried about the monarchs having enough nectar to see them through the mating and egg laying.