Port Stephens Diary of Natural Events - June/July

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

Pixie-cap orchid flowers appear.
After the summer bushfires Grass-Tree flowering spikes are covered in flowers.
World Environment Day.
Foxes mate.
Mosquitos die off, the few survivors forming the breeding stock for next summer's population
Broad-Leaf Geebung in fruit.
Heavy dews keep the ground wet until mid day.
Plovers lay eggs in ground nests.
Striated Pardalote arrives from Tasmania.
Black Cormorants move about in large flocks.
Some Melaleuca quinquenervia are still in flower.
Acacia suaveolens is in flower.
Tailor are being caught locally as they travel north to FrazerIsland.
The "wolf whistle" of the Currawong can be heard.
Quoll babies detach from their mothers teats and are left in the den while she forages.
Echidnas mate.
This is the time of year that fungi are most abundant.
Sour Current Bush is in fruit.
White Breasted Sea Eagles nest.
Earth Star fungus appears.
Red Ironbark in flower on Kurrara Hill.
Nights are getting cold, and snakes begin to hibernate down holes in the ground.
Bandicoots are at Middle Rock Caravan Park.
Wedge-Tail Eagle pairs perform pre-mating aerobatics.
Winter solstice, 22nd June, longest night, shortest day.
Puff Balls emerge through the bitumen on roads around GanGan Hill.
After storms look on the beaches for dogfish egg-cases and cuttlefish egg-masses.
Travelling blackfish and mullet pass through Shoal Bay.
King Prawn Season.
Bream head up the creeks.
Greenhood Orchids flower under the trees.
Plants in flower: Lobelia gibbosa, WhiteFinger Orchid, Woolsia pungens, Granny Bonnet and Black-Eyed Susan.
Blue-Faced Honeyeaters feed on flowering trees.
Wombats seen sometimes in the daytime as they warm up in the afternoon sun.
Wombat mothers have last years cub at heel and this years in the pouch.
June and July are the months of coldest water temperature, 13°C.
Inky Cap fungus appears.
Foggy mornings are more common.

Kath Fries, Burnt tree stump - North Arm Cove Bush Walk,  2013

Winter westerlies thrash boats on their moorings.
Helmet Orchids in flower.
Sand Flathead males wait at Tomaree for passing females heading for Providence Cove.
Dusky Flathead spawn in the estuary.
Fairy Penguins lay their eggs between July and November.
Fantail Cuckoo calls can be heard.
Blackthorn in flower.
Wattles show early signs of flowering.
Bushfires are lit for fuel reduction.
Magpies start collecting nest material.
Albatrosses can be seen out to sea.
Estuary Perch and Bass spawn in brackish water.
Young Galahs, born last year, fly up to 50 km from their birthplacein flocks of immature birds.
Male Echidnas look for females.
Female Echidnas develop a pouch and their milk glands get bigger.
Golden Wattle and Prickly Moses are in flower.
Swamp May has seed pods forming.
Plants in flower include Coast Tea Tree, Crimson Bottlebrush, Epacris obtusfolia and Drumsticks.
Case moth caterpillars are active cutting sticks.
Earthworms wander about after rains.
Frogs call on still nights.
Maroonhood Orchids appear.
Gymea Lily in flower.
False Sarsparilla vines in flower.
Wax flowers bloom.
Dingo pups are born.
Lilly Pilly in fruit.
Cold weather causes some snakes, bats, lizards and small mammalsto seek a secure shelter and lapse into a winter torpor.
Silver Gulls move to nesting islands with low vegetation.
July - the month of the least number of hours of sunshine.
Mopoke calls at night.
Crickets call in the grass at night.
Female Echidna lays one soft egg.
Scrub Wrens build their nests.
Baby Ringtail Possums leave the pouch and start riding on theirmother's back.
Both Green-Tailed and Yellow-Tailed Cockatoos can be seen inthe area.
Swamp Wallabys come closer to settlement as their natural food supply dwindles.

Michael Smith, 1999