In the north of New Zealand our weather is changing for the better and Monarchs are at last to be seen flying about. These are the Monarchs that have over-Wintered through the cold, wet, Winter months and are now coming out to play.
In New Zealand, as the weather becomes colder, the Monarchs head for local parks and gardens. During late autumn and early winter, clusters of them can sometimes be seen together in a tree. Not a lot is known about monarch over-wintering behaviour in New Zealand, however it appears that they form over-wintering clusters in areas where temperatures fall below 10 C. On warm winter days they fly from their clusters to feed on nectar.
At the tail end of our Summer season, this year, I had a female emerge from her chrysalis in July, which was very late in the season indeed. She will now be mating and laying her eggs, ensuring the next generation we'll see flying about in Summer.
Last weekend I was out walking in the sunshine and there, above me, were two Monarchs wheeling about in the sunny sky. They both landed on an overhead tree, which was when I took my opportunity to capture them in photographs. A male and a female.
To my delight, after they had both basked in the sun for about 10 minutes, they flicked off the tree and twirled around each other in little spirals, then disappeared skywards along the street.
So - look up and keep your eyes open. They're here.