Port Stephens Diary of Natural Events - September

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


Magpies start dive-bombing.
Earthworms start their second main breeding period.
Whales are seen off the coast heading south.
Eastern Spinebills can be seen on wildflowers.
Admiral Butterflies about.
Sour Current bush begins fruiting.
Antechinus babies are born.
Young Echidnas are weaned.
Swamp Rats start to breed.
Forest Clematis begin flowering.
Orioles can be heard calling.
Scented Sun Orchids open their flowers.
The seas are alive with tuna.
Australian Indigo is in flower.
Willie Wagtails nest.
Bats can be heard at night.
Mackerel Tuna enter Port Stephens to eat schools of small fish.
Flying Fox babies are attached to their mothers.
Christmas Beetles start banging against the windows at night.
Satin Bower birds leave the coast to breed in the mountains.
Scallops spawn.
Flying Duck Orchids appear.
Red Beard Orchid flowers.
Millipedes wander into houses.
Cuckoo Shrikes feed on caterpillars.
Whiting school in Port Stephens.
Eastern Rosella chicks born a year ago have moulted and show their adult plumage for the first time.
Bandicoots start their second litter.
Emerald moths on house windows.
Channel-Billed Cuckoos arrive from New Guinea to breed.
Immature magpies loudly demand food.
Every third year young eels travel upstream.
Tiger moths are seen flying about.
Bar-Tailed Godwits arrive from the Northern Hemisphere.
Christmas Bush grows tiny buds in preparation for flowering.
Humpback whales are heading south to Antarctica.
Muttonbirds arrive from the North to breed on Broughton Island.
Feral cats have the first of two litters, of up to seven kittens.
Swamphens have their young.
Antechinus young become too large to carry in the pouch and are left in the nest.
Pythons lay their eggs.
Cranberry Heath in fruit.
Sallow Wattles have wasp galls.
Michael Smith, 1999

Rainbow Lorikeets at Gunyah, photograph by Sue Saxon,
artist-in-residence September 2011