Ian McAllan sent me a polite e-mail pointing out several of the things
I said about historical Brush Turkey observations were doubtful. I was
paraphrasing a recent paper (details appended).
The Cape Howe "record" stems from Gould saying:
"How far the range of the Wattled talegallus may extend over Australia
is not yet satisfactorily ascertained; it is known to inhabit various
parts of New South Wales, from Cape Howe to Moreton Bay"
Ian suggests Gould had little information about the NSW far south coast -
so the most plausible explanation would be a mis-statement by Gould.
The Goulburn (Wollondilly) 1834 report seems to distinguish
brush-turkey from bustard - but they do get confused in early
accounts and its far from impossible thats what happened. The
observer for the 1920s Jindabyne/Thredbo report seems reliable
but its a long way from any other records. There is a discussion
here with respect to an possible historical ACT record here:
Anyway historical occurrence of brush-turkey south of Sydney, apart
from Illawarra-Shoalhaven, is at best debatable.
Ian was also doubtful about historical records for Sydney itself so
brush-turkey may be invading rather than reoccupying Sydney.
And while I'm making corrections, I mentioned Figbirds & Magpie-larks
as koel hosts. I was misremembering e-mail to birding-aus from
Alan Morris. Koels apparently do not parasitize these species in
the Newcastle-Sydney-Wollongong area. Which seems strange as they do
further north. Instead they parasitize Red Wattlebird, Noisy Friarbird
and Little Wattlebird.
Also someone asked about currawongs, personally I haven't noticed much
change in Pied Currawong abundance in the last 25 years in inner Sydney
(not that is saying much - and other people do seem to have noticed
increased abundance) but apparently in the preceding 25 years they went
from non-breeding vistors to common breeders, a major change in host
availability for CBCs. I have the vague impression raven numbers have
increased in my part of Sydney over the last 2 decades too.
"Present and Past Distribution of Australian Brush-turkeys Alectura lathami in
New South Wales-Implications for Management", Goeth, A. and Nicol, K.P. and
Ross, G. and Shields, J.J., Pacific Conservation Biology, 12(1), 2006