The October count at Low Isles reported 24,025 PIPs, a surprisingly high number early in the breeding season. The count was conducted by Low Isles Caretakers Wayne and Jenni assisted by volunteers from Low Isles Preservation Society.
For years PIP nests were only infrequently spotted in Cairns, although the birds are commonly seen flying and foraging around the city each summer. Then during the summer of 2011-12 Brian and friends reported an unusual flurry of PIP nesting in the city rather late in the season. The same keen PIP team has started monitoring the Esplanade and part of the CBD again this year. The first six PIP nests in Cairns were reported at the end of September and several more were discovered during the first week of October thanks to Brian, Phil and Yu.
In Townsville the first PIP nest of the season was spotted by Jenny who sent in the photo above.
On 6 October Robyn and Beth reported they observed a PIP high up under the canopy of a flowering Poplar Gum in Western Lions Park at Heatley. The single bird was calling but no partner was observed. A bird, thought to be a Little Friar bird started harassing the PIP which shifted position but remained in the tree.
Beth and Robin plan to continue to monitor as they had been seeing PIPs in the park and the nearly Heatley State School grounds for about two weeks, but had not observed any mating or nesting behaviour as yet. Last year they noted a pair did nest in the Western Lions Park, above the BBQ area but they did not see any evidence of fledglings.
Has anyone seen PIPs starting to build nests anywhere else? Many more PIPwatchers are needed!
Brian and others of the Esplanade PIP team observed good numbers of PIPs around during late August. They found no evidence of nest building as yet but Andy reported one sighting of PIPs mating.
A few PIPs were sighted around Townsville at the end of August.
Thanks John for passing on info about Aaron’s count at Green Island: 1,499 PIPs on 27 August 2012.
Possibly there was an earlier count done at Green Island this month? Hopefully those involved might send news soon.
At Low Isles the first PIPs this season were seen flying in towards Low Woody Island late in the day on August 1. Small numbers were observed on subsequent evenings too, thanks to Low Isles Caretakers and Julia for reports.
First PIPs of the season at Green Island were reported by Gerry who spotted a group of 4 to 5 PIPS flying in about 9.30am on August 18.
Small numbers of PIPs have also been seen around Port Douglas and Cairns during early August.
Probably there were PIPs to be seen further north during late July already – was anyone watching?
Planning to add a short summary of last season here.
News from contributors about last season very welcome.
PIPs, TIPs or Nutmeg Pigeons… whatever name you prefer, this is a place to share information about these amazing birds.
Want to help? Please join in!