Port Stephens Diary of Natural Events - February/March

An extract from Michael Smith's "Port Stephens Diary of Natural Events"


Ring tail possums on Tomaree have babies in the pouch.
Planets visible on the eastern and western horizons at night.
Angophera costata (Smooth Barked Apple) "gumnuts" litter the ground.
Sunshine Wattle in bloom.
Snakes on Broughton Island prey upon the newly hatched mutton bird chicks.
Mullet start to run up the N.S.W. coast for the next three months.
Bluebottles found washed up on our beaches.
Geebungs are in flower.
Blackbutt in flower.
The first strong wind scatters the flowers of the Christmas Bush.
Blueberry Ash is fruiting.
Jelly Blubbers appear on beaches.
Young Preying Mantids emerge.
Mangrove seeds wash up on the beach.
Leopard Slugs Mate.
Painted Acacia Moth caterpillars appear on wattle trees.
Feral cats have their second litter for the year.
Wallaby births reach their peak.
Longicorn beetles emerge from wattles.
This is the time of seed production for many species, following the rush of spring.
"Spitfires" mass on branches.
Gamefish competition puts pressure on sharks and marlin.
Broad-leafed paperbark Melaleuca quinquenervia comes into flower.
Young birds fly around with their parents.

Kath Fries, North Arm Cove bush walk view, 2013, photograph


Fairy penguins come ashore on Broughton Island to moult for 2-3 weeks.
Mullet are in Nelson Bay harbour, and shooting the waves at Fingal Bay.
March Flies start biting.
Blackberries ripen.
Earthworms have their first breeding period for the year.
Kangaroo Apple in berry.
Goannas shed flakes of skin.
Bandicoot babies are out of the pouch.
Some parent birds take a four month holiday before parenting again.
Leaf-curling spiders are active.
Crickets call from the grass at night.
Tiger Moths fly about at night.
Some aquatic insect larva change into adult form.
In times past Aborigines cut notches in the bark of Acacias to allow the gum to exude.
European wasps gather at water.
Brushtail possums have the first of two litters of babies.
Very few wildflowers are in bloom at this time of year.
Broad-leafed paperbark Melaleuca quinquinervia in flower.
Conesticks in flower.
Gymea Lily flower heads start to form a flower.
Fruit bats mate.
Welcome Swallows depart.
Young Sugar Gliders are ejected from the family nest.
Octopus lay eggs.
Dotterels arrive from New Zealand.

Michael Smith, 1999