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The leading edge of the migration seems to have arrived near the overwintering sites in Mexico a bit early this year. Reports on Dplex-L, the email list we maintain for those wishing to post reports on monarchs, indicated that monarchs had arrived at 20 degrees north, only half a degree north of the overwintering sites, by the 22nd of October. By the 27th, large numbers of monarchs were observed by Dave Kust below the colony sites near Angangueo, Michoacan. (Angangueo is an old mining town located between the two major overwintering sites, El Rosario and Chincua.)
The local folklore is that monarchs arrive every year coincident with the Day of the Dead (today, 2 November). In fact, they usually arrive a day or three early. However, there are no long-term records or even adequate definitions and descriptions of what the local people observe when the monarchs “arrive”. Arrivals at the overwintering sites should peak in mid-November but monarchs should continue to arrive at the overwintering sites through the at least the first week of December.