South Georgia                    all photos by Brian Patteson; no use w/o permission

All visits to South Georgia will include some time in Grytviken, where the ship clears customs.

Grytviken is an old whaling station, and while many of the buildings have been demolished, much of the old machinery and tanks can still be seen.

There are also some old ships, like the whale-catcher Petrel.

The old church has been restored in recent years, along with the manager's villa, which is now a museum.

Antarctic Terns nest in Grytviken harbor.

Elephant Seal pups or "weaners" can be seen at Grytviken.

The South Georgia Pintail has been demoted to subspecific status in Yellow-billed Pintail.

In recent years, Southern Right Whales have been found with increasing frequency around South Georgia.

In some of the harbors, old ships like the Brutus have found a final resting place.

Most beaches are guarded by bull Antarctic Fur Seals during the spring and summer tourist season.

In recent years the fur seals have been producing many young, making it hard to believe they were nearly driven to extinction.

A species which has undergone a frightening population decline in recent years is the majestic Wandering Albatross, shown here at the nest.

The endemic South Georgia Pipit is the only nesting landbird, and is found only on rat free islands. 

Wandering Albatrosses sometimes undergo incubation shifts lasting over a week.

King Penguins greet us at Salisbury Plain, where Robert Cushman Murphy was an early visitor.

It takes over a year to raise a chick, so there are always King Penguins ashore.

Photographic opportunities where there are King Penguins.

This bird is looking more like an adult, but some down remains.

The brown downy young are called "oakums."

Kings at Salibury Plain.  The scenery is always spectacular at King Penguin colonies.

Kings are always found nesting below glaciers.  The glacial stream at St. Andrews Bay is quite swift.

The scavenging Sheathbill is most numerous at larger King Penguin colonies.

Sheathbills can be quite bold.  Mostly they come close to pick the guano off your boots.

King Penguins often exhibit bold curiosity too.

Looking to sea from the beach at St. Andrews Bay, with a small fraction of the penguins present pictured here. 

Perhaps even more numerous than Kings are Macaroni Penguins.

Macaronis are "crested penguins" like Rockhoppers and they must be good climbers to reach their nest sites.

Looking toward Stromness Harbor on the "Shackleton Route."

Down at Stromness, a mutant Gentoo Penguin has been found.

Out to the west of South Georgia are Shag Rocks, stronghold of the South Georgia Shag or Cormorant.