The Queensland Conservation Council in 1979 published a booklet I wrote, The Birds of South-East Queensland. It was an annotated list of birds from the state's south-east with a focus on status, distribution, habitat and environmental threats. Forty years later, in 2019, I thought it timely for a “then and now” look at how things have changed for some species listed in the publication. These posts discuss the minority of birds listed where knowledge of status and distribution has changed markedly.
|Bribie Island's Eric the Emu|
Sooty Albatross & Light-mantled Sooty Albatross. Both species in 1979 were described as “vagrant” with one record of Sooty Albatross and two of Light-mantled Sooty Albatross – all beach-washed. While no further records of Sooty Albatross have surfaced, several more Light-mantled Sooty Albatross have beach-washed and the species is seen rarely in offshore waters.
Gould's Petrel. Described in 1979 also as a “vagrant”, with no sightings and a total of four beach-washed specimens. The species is now regarded as an uncommon though regular summer visitor to offshore waters.
Black-winged Petrel. Another “vagrant” in 1979 known from three beach derelicts, with no sightings. It is now considered a scarce summer visitor to offshore waters.
Wilson's Storm-Petrel. Records were few in 1979, though it was “probably moderately common” as a passage migrant offshore. It is in fact a common visitor to offshore waters, especially as a passage migrant.
Black-bellied Storm-Petrel. Another “vagrant” in 1979, again known from just two specimens. It is thought today to be an uncommon but regular winter visitor to offshore waters.