A wonderful new film was recently launched! “The Coming of the White Birds” celebrates an amazing half-century of conservation effort on behalf of PIPs at the Brook Islands near Hinchinbrook.
Read about the film and the launch event here.
There will be a public screening of the film at the Birdlife Mission Beach PIP count in November – see here for details and please join in if you can.
Above: Late arriving PIPs fly in towards North Brook Island while counters on the boat keep a running tally of PIP numbers. Photo courtesy of D. Dickson, a longstanding member of the dedicated count team.
The current season seems to a tough one for PIPs. Many have delayed starting nesting, some early nests were abandoned and some flocks seemed to be relocating. However overall information is scanty and more observers are needed please!
Extra coast counts during November and January will be especially helpful. And it’s easy to do.
The coast count guidelines have been updated. Please see count details for the current season.
Important sites needing counters include Kurrimine (south, centre and north ends of the beach) and along the coast northwards including Cowley Beach, Mourilyan etc.
A PIP coast count is easy to do, and it only needs two hours of your time from 4PM to 6PM.
Click HERE to get details and PLEASE help help with this count!
A special call out to boat owners and friends: When the weather is good, can you consider doing a boat-based count in between the beaches where there is no land access?
Extra effort is particularly important now. PIPs appear to be short of food and their nesting has been delayed with some PIPs possibly relocating. We are trying to find out what’s going on. Helpful people are urgently needed to watch, count and report PLEASE!
BIG thanks to all who completed PIP Coast Counts in 2013.
You can read the 2013 report here.
PLEASE count again next November or December!
Hello all PIPwatchers! Have any PIPs arrived in YOUR area yet?
PIPs should be returning to Queensland soon, after their short winter break in PNG.
Please report the first PIPs you see this season – just click here to put in your observation reports.
Birdlife NQ conducted their annual Pied Imperial-Pigeon count in the Mission Beach area on 10 November. Teams of volunteers monitored four previously established sites and one new location and counted all PIPs flying out from the mainland between 4:00 and 6:30 PM.
Garners Beach 713; Bingil Bay 422; Wongaling Beach 329; South Mission Beach 412; Kurrimine Boat Ramp 1311
All four established sites had higher counts than last year when extremely low PIP numbers in Nov 2011 could be explained by the extensive habitat damage caused by Tropical Cyclone Yasi.
Shown above are the annual count totals for Garners Beach, Bingil Bay, Wongaling Beach and South Mission Beach.
The 2012 total for the four sites combined approximated that of 2010, the last pre-Yasi count. Tentatively this might indicate the local PIP habitat has been recovering quite quickly from cyclone damage. However such short term interpretation is uncertain. Year-to-year variation in counts for prior years was high, unrelated to cyclones, so maintaining counts over future years will be important to assess longer term trends.
Kurrimine Beach was counted for the first time this year, thanks to important data received from Neville and June. These alert observers near El Arish recorded flocks of PIPs flying from the ranges in the direction of Kurrimine, a valuable new extension of the Mission Beach PIP counts.