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South Georgia Pipit | by Tim Melling
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South Georgia Pipit

The South Georgia Pipit (Anthus antarcticus) only breeds on the island of South Georgia, and nowhere else on the planet. And even here it is not common and largely restricted to small islets. The whaling industry on South Georgia introduced rats which spread throughout the island and devastated its breeding birds including the pipit. It survived only on small offshore islands which remained rat-free but a recent rat eradication programme seems to have been successful and the Pipit has started to appear on mainland South Georgia again. Iknow it is rather dull but it breeds further south than any other songbird on the planet and only people who have visited this remote island will have seen it. They feed on the rocky shores and beaches in the manner of their cousin the Rock Pipit, which occurs in Britain. I quite liked the subtly coloured algae on the rocks too.

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Taken on January 31, 2016