Can you help with December or January Coast Counts?

With the PIP season still in full swing, we are seeking more volunteers to continue the Coast Count series.

What’s involved? Go to your count site on the coast, keep watch from 4pm until dusk, and record the number of Torresian/Pied Imperial pigeons as they fly from the land out to sea. These distinctive birds are easy to identify when they fly out in the open. You don’t need to be an expert birder.

To get started, just download the count guidelines and datasheets here.

Many locations need to be covered. If you have chosen a count site, or would like help in choosing one, please contact Julia Hazel on 0407 431 382 or email: Julia.hazel@jcu.edu.au

You can see previous count results here.

Can you help with November Coast Counts?

The 2020 Birdlife NQ coast counts of Torresian/Pied Imperial pigeons (TIPs/PIPs) need more volunteers – please help if you can!

What’s involved? Go to your count site on the coast, keep watch from 4pm until dusk, and record the number of Torresian/Pied Imperial pigeons as they fly from the land out to sea. These distinctive birds are easy to identify when they fly out in the open. You don’t need to be an expert birder.

The Birdlife NQ target date is Saturday 14 November 2020. If that’s not convenient, it’s fine to pick a nearby date that suits you.

Count guidelines and datasheets can be downloaded here.

Many locations need to be covered. If you have chosen a count site, or would like help in choosing one, please contact Julia Hazel on 0407 431 382 or email: Julia.hazel@jcu.edu.au

Start of the 2020-21 season

The first Pied/Torresian imperial pigeon reports this season came in during July, from Cairns and Muralug Island. The next round of personal “firsts” during August and September were widely spread out between Cooktown and Campwin Beach.

Many thanks to Brian, Jon, Gerry, Atalanta, David, Shane, Lucie, Christin, Jenny and Jaymie for observation reports and extra thanks to Jaymie for the photo below.

New arrival at Alligator Creek

Thanks to Coast Counters! See results for seven seasons

Another round of VERY BIG THANKS to everyone who helped with coast counts!

If you can, please plan ahead for the 2020 season. If you missed the Birdlife NQ target date, it’s fine to choose any other date(s) that suits you right through November, December and January.

Our online map of results now shows the coast count totals for the past seven PIP/TIP seasons. You can see the details here.

Oct 2019 to Jan 2020: Can you help with Coast Counts?

Updated 5-1-2020

The annual Birdlife NQ coast counts of Torresian/Pied Imperial pigeons (TIPs/PIPs) urgently need more count volunteers. Please help if you can!

What’s involved? Go to your count site on the coast, keep watch from 4pm until dusk, and record the number of Torresian/Pied Imperial pigeons as they fly from the land out to sea. These distinctive birds are easy to identify when they fly out in the open. You don’t need to be an expert birder.

The Birdlife NQ target date for this season was Saturday 16 November. Many thanks to all who counted on/near that date. Follow-up counts in mid-December and mid-January will also be very valuable. It’s fine to pick a date near mid-month that suits you, and ideal if you can encourage friends to count at a nearby site to yours.

Count guidelines and datasheets can be downloaded here.

Many locations need to be covered. If you have chosen a count site, or would like help in choosing one, please contact Julia Hazel on 0407 431 382 or email: Julia.hazel@jcu.edu.au

First report of the new season!

August is the month we expect to see Torresian/Pied imperial pigeons returning to Queensland to prepare for a new breeding season, and right on cue, the first report for the 2019-20 season has just come in.

A flock of about 30 TIPs/PIPs was seen flying south near Cape Weymouth on 7 August 2019. Thanks to John and Brian for this report.

Oct 2018: Vale Margaret Thorsborne, Conservation Champion

We are mourning the passing of Margaret Thorsborne, an extraordinarily dedicated and courageous champion for the protection of Torres Strait Pigeons (PIPs/TIPs) and other vulnerable species and their habitat.

You can read more here.

Pigeon counts at North Brook Island were started in 1965 by Margaret Thorsborne and her late husband Arthur. For the next fifty years Margaret continued counting, and campaigned tirelessly to keep these counts going. In this 2015 picture, Margaret is counting with friend and scientific advisor Dr John Winter. Photo courtesy of Bryony Barnett.

Aug 2018: Have you sighted your first PIPs/TIPs this season?

PIPs/TIPs usually return to Queensland coastal areas during August and September, spreading gradually south. Timing has been variable in different seasons, and at different locations, so we are seeking everyone’s help to document their behaviour.

Update: first sightings south of Cairns
Thanks to Rae, who heard a single PIP at Tyto Wetlands on 15 August, earlier than usual for Tyto.
Thanks to Pam, who saw a single PIP at Hermit Park in Townsville on 17 August, also a surprisingly early arrival for that area.

First reports of the season!
A few early arrivals were sighted in Palm Beach and Cairns during the week 4 to 10 Aug. Thank you Sally for the first report to PIPwatch this season, and thanks also to the editors of Cairns Birders newsletter who published information from other observers.
On 16 August three PIPs were spotted at Yorkeys Knob Esplanade, thank to Laura.
On 20 August one PIP sighted at Centenary Lakes, thanks to Brian.

Please keep a lookout and please report YOUR sightings!