The first island count of the season was conducted on 14 September by Low Isles Caretakers and volunteers from Low Isles Preservation Society. Their total count was 2,433. Thanks to Wayne and Jenni, Deb, Julie, Andrew, Sophie and Harrison.
The count was on the low side, leaving us wondering whether many of the usual flock might be a bit late in returning this year?
For the first time the Low Isles team recorded their data directly onto ipads that Wayne and Jenni had set up for the purpose. Congratulations on a world-first innovation! Of course meaning world-first for PIP counting :)
At Low Isles the first returning PIP was sighted on 14 August by the island’s Caretakers. There were still only small numbers of PIPs to be seen by the end of the month.
On 28 August the first PIPwatch report of the season came from Graham (thanks Graham!) who heard and then spotted a single PIP at the top of a tree in the Cairns suburb of Mooroobool.
North of Cairns there were a few earlier sightings recorded on Eremaea, not posted to PIPwatch. In most cases people saw only single birds. No one reported any large flocks.
The first PIPwatch report south of Cairns was on 30 August when Julia spotted two PIPs feeding high in palm trees on the Strand, Townsville.