Winter in Christchurch, 2016

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  • #48345


    Hi all.
    A general observation of my patch here in Shirley.
    All May was warm and dry. There were a few butterfly sightings.
    The first 7 days of June experienced some decent frosts. All along my large Monarch caterpillars have continued to survive – the more mature, larger ones. Some had even started their chrysalis process.
    However, today, 13th June, a 5-degree frost has frozen solid the last of them.
    My swan plants have leaves as stiff as cardboard. Earlier I noticed the sap, when exposed & weeping, froze easily.
    Unfortunately, I have not been able to make any comparisons of air & root temperatures.

    All my dahlias have now stopped being useful plants, to me or butterflies!!
    The cosmos is hanging in there.

    My yellow ADMIRAL caterpillars are still around among a decreasing straggly supply of nettles
    Cheers. {BEP}.

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • #48445


    To the butterflymusketeers… hope you reported them in to Remember it’s reporting in that counts, will build up a picture of what is going on with our butterflies and climate.

    Thanks if you did!



    Hi I counted about 100 at St James Park in Papanui CHCH. As I released my first tagged Monarch there last week 21st June. Strange maybe because we are experiencing such a mild winter so far. I wonder where they have all gone, Im so thankful I got to witness 1000’s in the trees in April this year, was amazing. I thought that they would be there all winter.



    Hey Christchurch people, I hope that you’re reporting these in to so in future years we can actually “see” what the butterfly populations were like and measure it against the weather.

    It isn’t too late to log in sightings in hindsight, Denise (unless you did log the 600 in at the time). It’s all good stuff – the more sightings the better, gives us a more accurate picture of what’s going on.

    Also, if after pressing the submit button you use the back arrow, half the data (e.g. address, your name, address etc will still be in the form, so you just have to change the number, date and if necessary the location.


    Richard Rowe

    I think that we are having a very low numbers in overwinter sites because we just dont have any real winter weather for more that a few days and it is mild winter weather also.

    The cool thing is allways that having our plants ready for feeding on lets us have a big number of eggs making it to butterflies.


    denise marshall

    On friday I release 6 monarchs at Abberley Park [chch].I deceided to do a count while i was there.I would be lucky if I saw 100 of them over Wintering, this is the worst count I have ever seen at that park, Last year I counted 600, and we haven’t even had a bad Winter so far. So not sure what is going on.


    Richard Rowe

    I have seen some comments in the papers but have yet to see any rosting in my local rurul lawn over wintering site



    Barry (and other Christchurch people)

    So sorry to hear about the frost/swan plant. 🙁

    I would be interested to know if there are still large numbers of monarchs in the trees/parks down there. If you notice any sightings or comments in the papers/media, please could you let us know?


Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)

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