Are Black Honeyeaters moving towards the coast with the drought or is this
part of a general eastern expansion of range?
In 1992 or 1993, Rod Hobson and myself found a Black Honeyeater (female)
feeding young in the forestry just west of Jandowae (26°47' S, 151°06' E).
This is just outside the SE Qld area although "The Birds of South-east
Queensland", Gregory Roberts and published by the Queensland Conservation
Council in 1979 would just about include it. This publication did not
include Black Honeyeaters.
At the time, it appeared that the sighting west of Jandowae was the most
easterly sighting recorded. G.M. Storr in his "Revised List of Queensland
Birds", 1984, stated that they occurred "east to Richmond (? species), the
Forsyth Range (24 km E of Fermoy), Blackall and the Warrego (upstream nearly
to Augathella)." All these areas are hundred of kms west of Jandowae.
The publication of the Chinchilla Field Naturalists Club, "Going Bush with
Chinchilla Nats", 1988, has the listing "rare; isolated single sightings as
far east as Goombi, between Miles and Chinchilla.". This is still over 100
km west of Jandowae and is only "isolated, single sightings". The closest
breeding sites were still listed as far west as Jundah.
Within three years of the Jandowae sighting, there were reports of birds in
the Lockyer Valley. Since then, Bill Jolly's sightings at "Abberton" and
the apparent tendency of the birds to remain in the district and now Tom
Tarrant's sighting of a pair at Samsonvale would tend to indicate to me a
general movement eastwards rather than birds being driven in by drought.
Is there signs of a similar movement in other states?
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