We have now been living on the Gold Coast for six months or so. When I say
"living on the Gold Coast" I should add "this time". The house we are
living in was my parents and I spent several years here in the 50s and 60s.
We also lived on the coast for a number of years after our marriage (1969!)
and for a short time after we returned from the Solomon Islands. During our
time in the Solomons (1974-1979), we spent most of our leave time in the
house we are living in now.
During the last six months, my home list is well under thirty species. Some
of these are lone specimens that were probably lost. This means that there
are only just over twenty species that are regularly seen. Most of these
occur in large numbers so the overall number of birds is very high. The
species list is very low.
Having lived here in the past, it is interesting to compare the earlier
times. Previously, the most common birds (apart from the lorikeets) were
Brown Honeyeaters, Starlings, Sparrows and Common Mynas. These have all
disappeared although the vegetation remains the same. This is an older
suburb and although the bushland nearby is now all built on, the immediate
area is probably more vegetated than thirty years ago.
Now it is all Noisy Miners, Little Wattlebirds, Spotted Turtle-doves and
Lorikeets. There is a marked decrease in Scaly-breasted Lorikeets with a
corresponding rise in the number of Rainbows. Previously, Brown Goshawks
and Collared Sparrowhawks were seen on a regular basis. Small honeyeaters
(Brown, White-throated, White-naped) abounded. Sulphur-crested Cockatoos
and Little Corellas are now common. None were around here in my previous
times. The number of White Ibis has also been drastically reduced. In the
past it was common to see twenty or thirty in the yard at one time. Now, if
there are two, it is a crowd.
I intend to stay here for a considerable length of time now and use it for a
base for travelling around when my wife retires in the next few years so I
will be able to properly monitor the changes from now on. The suburban
sprawl around here means that no more bush land can be destroyed as there is
none left so any changes in species from now on will have to be caused by
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