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27 November 2009

Birds of Portugal

From left to right :
0,54 € and 0,43 € : Eurasian Eagle-owl (鵰鴞)
0,60 € : Red-necked Nightjar (紅頸夜鷹) ; 0,58 € : Thekla Lark (短嘴鳳頭百靈)
0,01 € : European Green Woodpecker (綠啄木鳥) ; 0,28 € : Little Tern (小燕鷗)
0,72 € : European Crested Tit (鳳頭山雀)
Portugal (2002, 2003, 2004)

23rd October, 2009. Praça dos Restauradores, Lisbon
30th October, 2009. Hongkong

Since 2000, Portugal Post issued five pretty definitive stamp series feature 26 species which to be found in this nation, beside products also included some postal stationary, postage label, self-adhesive booklets and stamps for domestic priority mail. To suit the currency changed from Escudo to Euro on 2002, the stamp denominations of first and second series are indicated with both Escudo to Euro currencies and other three are only in Euro, when Escudo lost its official currency on 2002. In here I have been shown two covers, one was the postage label and another was two of this definitive set. Thank you Paula again she sent me above attractive cover from Lisbon, with many stamps of this definitive set. Those species are simplely descript as below.

Eurasian Eagle-owl is the world largest Strigidae (鴟鴞科) species, its length can be over 80cm widely lives in Eurasia and southern Sahara. Mostly to be found in woodland forests and hilly mountains. The type locality of the specis located in Switzerland. Red-necked Nightjar is the largest nightjar common to be found in Iberia and North Africa, and they shall migrate to West Africa during late April to May. Thekla Lark is a dark-browned bird widely to be found in Eurasia and North Africa, also whole sub-Saharan area. Commonly lives in dry plains and area near desert. Always walks on the land or flying with wave sharp. European Green Woodpecker occurs in most parts of Europe and western Asia. Except the bill and reddish head, whole body in green colour. Crested Tit is a common resident breeder in coniferous forest of northern Europe and deciduous forest of France and Iberia.

Beside of above cover, I also sent one cover with Red-rumped Swallow stamps during I was travelling to Portugal on 2007. Red-rumped Swallow widely to be found in Siberia and whole eastern Asia, India Peninsula, southern Europe, northern Africa and western and eastern sub-Sahara area. Below is the part of the cover only shown the stamps and postmark, the photograph on left side is wall decoration of the Caldas da Reinha post office, which is original place to send this mail.

Red-rumped Swallow (金腰燕)
Portugal (2004)

3rd July, 2007. Caldas da Rainha

25 November 2009

Lesser Whistling Duck

Lesser Whistling Duck (栗樹鴨)
Indonesia (2000)

9th November, 2009. Tanahmas, Semarang

Lesser Whistling Duck is not first time to show in this blog, however it only has been appeared as small bird of Cambodia issue. The bird quite commonly resident in south and south-east Asian countries, from Sri Lanka, India, Malay to Vietnam and Indonesia, also the south bank of Yangzi River of China, Taiwan and Ryukyu Islands. In Indonesia, the species only to be found in Sumatra, Java, south-west of Kalimantan and its nearest islands. The type locality of Lesser Whistling Duck located in Java.

Above cover sent from Semarang, where is a town of northern Java. Actually it is not first mail from Indonesia but is first one affixed with bird stamps. The stamp issued on 2000 as reprinted and colour changed, original stamp issued on 1998 was one of Duck definitive stamp set. Swap stamps and covers with Indonesian is not easy as the mails always lost in this country and don't have any recovery.

23 November 2009

Where are the birds ?

38p : Variegated Scallop (斑麗扇貝), Dogwhelk (疣荔枝螺)
European Cowrie (紫貝) and Painted Topshell (馬蹄螺)
20p : Burnet Rose (蘇格蘭薔薇)
Guernsey (1999)

6th August, 2009. Herm Island

In 1999, Guernsey issued a set of Natural Park and Reserves which includes one Europa stamp, four stamps illustrated different species found in Herm Island, meantime, each stamp respectively shown one label issued on 1954 by Herm Island, as the island still owned by private at the time.

Above cover features two stamps of this stamp set, one is different kind of shells on the beach and another is wild flower growing beside beach. However, could you find any bird inside the stamps ? In the 38p stamp, designer also illustrated a pair of Eurasian Oystercatcher (蠣鴴) for finding shells as their food. Different than American Oystercatcher (美洲蠣鷸), it only to be found in Europe and Asia, and Africa when the bird migrate to there in winter.

20 November 2009

French DOM collection (1) - Réunion

From left to right :
0,46 € : Purple-throated Carib (紫喉蜂鳥)
0,61 € : Blue-headed Hummingbird (藍頂蜂鳥)
0,69 € : Mascarene Paradise Flycatcher (馬斯卡林壽帶鶲)
0,46 € : Channel-billed Toucan (藍面巨嘴鳥)
France (2003)

24th August, 2009. Forum-des-halles, Paris

In April, here had introduced an envelope stamped with French Overseas territories' birds issue, however it only has hummingbird and toucan. After a couple of months, François sent me above cover with whole set of stamps, thanks to his great mail. Of course, this cover seems missing something. During the holiday of October, I started a new project about mails send from all of four French overseas departments - Réunion, Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana. Now I would beginning to show them in four threads, although only two have been turned back, and first one is Réunion.

Front
Mascarene Paradise Flycatcher (馬斯卡林壽帶鶲)
France (2003)

17th October, 2009. Cilaos, Réunion
27th October, 2009. Hongkong


Mascarene Paradise Flycatcher is endemic to area of Mauritius and Réunion, although the bird lives in restricted area, it still have huge population widely to be found in subtropical and tropical moist lowland forest. Réunion is a volcano island located in west Indian Ocean, in the middle of Madagascar and Mauritius. Seashore is tropical rainforest climate for whole year and it suitable for most tropical species, include Mascarene Paradise Flycatcher. Different than seashore, internal of Réunion is mountain climate as the active volcano of north-west elevated 3,060.5m named Piton des Neiges, and Piton de la Fournaise elevated 2,631m is on the eastern side of island.

The mail was sent from a town Cilaos, populated 6,100 inhabitants located in the central of Réunion. As there near Piton des Neiges, a caldera also called Cilaos is not far away from the town. In the May of 1952, there recorded the world greatest amount of rainfall in one day (1,870mm) and keep the record until now.

Back

18 November 2009

Unseen or endemic to Madagascar

From top to bottom :
Two-banded Chameleon (雙帶變色龍) ; Giant Leaf-tailed Gecko (馬達加斯加葉尾守宮)
Military Macaw (軍艦金剛鸚鵡)
Lesser Chameleon (侏儒變色龍) ; Standing's Day Gecko (雲石巨人日光壁虎)
Malagasy / Madagascar (1993, 1999)

30th September, 2009. CAVP (Centre d'Approvisionnement en Valeurs Postales)
14th October, 2009. Antananarivo (Processing Centre)
2nd November, 2009. Hongkong


Although only the souvenir sheet related to bird theme, the macaw can't be found in Madagascar. Military Macaw is a large macaw in Latin and South America. Due to the vary inhabit areas, it widely to be found in topical rainforest, woodland or valley. Although the macaw was a popular pet in yesterday, nowadays as the change of inhabit area and illegal trading, it listed as vulnerable species in IUCN red list.

Oppositely, four stamps issued as WWF theme illustrate four chameleons and geckos individually are endemic to Madagascar. These four species are now as endanger species, unfortunately same as Military Macaw, they are facing illegal trading for pet market and the change of resident area.

The souvenir sheet and stamp set issued in different periods of Magagascar - former name Malagasy Republic and present name Republic of Madagascar are mixed on one cover. Madagascar is an island country located in the offshore of East Africa which is a fourth large island in the world, there can be found 5% species of the world and 80% of them are endemic to Madagascar.

16 November 2009

Eastern White Pelican

Eastern White Pelican (白鵜鶘)
Ukraine (2007)

12th October, 2009. Kiev

Thank you Philipp of this mail from Kiev, actually this stamp set I waited for a long time and wanted to do it during stamp exhibition, however the Ukraine sale booth sold the stamps in HK$50, it was quite unreasonable as dealer only sells it in cheap price. The mail so pity that cancelled by machine postmark, it seems too heavy and two stamps couldn't been cancel.

Eastern White Pelican is one of large pelicans in the world, it breeds in south-east European countries and have short migration to southern Africa or south-west Asia for winter. This species is not endanger species but as more than 50% pelicans breed in the Danube Delta, where is an important breeding place of the pelicans in Romania and Ukraine. Especially only approximate 706km² of left bank of the Chilia area is situated in Ukraine, Eastern White Pelicans seem is a small settlement in this country.

12 November 2009

Birds of the tropics (1)

500K : Cockatiel (雞尾鸚鵡) ; 600K : Amazonian Umbrellabird (亞馬遜傘鳥)
Zambia (2000)

23rd September, 2009. Ndola
24th September, 2009. Lusaka


Actually, many issues produced by IPGS are quite non-collectable, this largest world philatelic agency helps many countries to produce their stamps and it has right to control the country what themes to be issue. As a result, many themes are not related to issue countries or total quantity of stamps and sheets are not reasonably in each issue. In here there have been shown two examples the Gambia and Grenada, now showing third country Zambia. Above two stamps are come from Birds of the tropics issued on 2000, this issue includes 5 single stamps, 3 sheetlets and 2 souvenir sheets, total 31 individual stamps illustrate different birds over the world, but none of them to be found in Zambia ! I only collected those single stamps and will be shown them in two threads in here.

Cockatiel is endemic to Australia, which is one of popular pet in the world. Cockatiel is one of smallest parrot in Psittacidae (鸚鵡科), wild birds mostly live in wetlands and frutex jungles. Origin type is in grey coloured body, orange-yellowed crest with yellowish or white coloured face of male birds, and female birds in light greyed colour. Both sexes feature a round orange area on both ear areas called cheek patches. Crest will be risen up when it feels frighted or excitation.

Unfortunately, only Zambia issued cockatiel stamp and no other replacement. Australia had issued postal stationary illustrate cockatiel but not confirm when did it issue.

Males of Amazonian Umbrellabird is the largest bird of Cotingidae (傘鳥科) in South America, length measured up to estimate 50cm. There have two main communities of its inhabit area, one located in woodland forests and branches near Amazon Basin, another in the eastern Andes. Same as other umbrellabird it overlooks black with a conspicuous umbrella shaped crest, and an inflatable wattle on the neck, which serves to amplify their loud, booming calls.

8 November 2009

Tawny Owls, feature Black Woodpecker and Great Tit

0,10 € : Tawny Owl (灰林鴞) ; 0,01 € : Black Woodpecker (黑啄木鳥)
0,15 € : Eurasian Nutcracker (星鴉) ; 0,27 € : Eurasian Woodcock (丘鷸)
Belgium (2009, 2008)

16th October, 2009. Ieper
16th October, 2009. Gent


Do you remember I had introduced Tawny Owl stamps issued by Vietnam and South Korea before ? So pity that these covers are not handsome as one was not a pretty stamp and one only for make-up rate stamp. Now turn to Europe side of Belgium and Estonia, these two countries issued Tawny Owl stamps in October respectively, just few days separated. Thank you Piro from Estonia and Thomas from Belgium who sent me these two wonderful covers.

First is Belgian one, artist Buzin who drawn this stamp series near 25 years, he illustrated an owl stay in a branch at day time - although Tawny Owl is active at night. The owl of this stamp be coloured as reddish-browned feather, this sub-species S. a. sylvatica mostly appears Western European countries include Great Britain.

Another one is an Estonian Tawny Owl first day cover, designer also illustrated an owl stay in a branch but the background looks near dawn. Please note that the owl is grey colour, most of Tawny Owls live in northern Europe are having this colour feather. This sub-species named as S. a. aluco, mostly lives in North and Central Europe, from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean.

Meanwhile, these two covers affixed couple of bird stamps. The Belgian Black Woodpecker stamp just issued before half month of Tawny Owl stamp, this bird is one of large woodpecker of this family widely resident in Eurasian forest. Great Tit is a common songbird widely to be found in Europe and Asia.

The woodcock and nutcracker are introduced in here before, they also easily to be found in European forest or backyard.

R : Tawny Owl (灰林鴞) ; L : Great Tit (大山雀)
Estonia (2009, 2003)

8th October, 2009. Tallinn (with first day postmark)

6 November 2009

Kakapo - it has been near extinct

Kakapo (鴞鸚鵡)
New Zealand (2005)

8th October, 2009. Te Anau, Fiorldland

Nowadays, near 110 kakapos are living in Chalky Island and Anchor Island, where are located in Fiordland National Park, the largest conservation area in New Zealand. Kakapo is one of original resident in New Zealand since pre-history, and it lost flying ability as there did not have main preys. Before the colonisation of there by Polynesian and European, kakapo is widely to be found in both north and south Islands, afterwards the population were largely decreasing to it become endanger species when the pets come with these colonial. In 1890, governor of New Zealand began to conserve this species, unfortunately this action was not successful, during the year of 1990 to 1995, only estimate 50 birds to be found in protection areas and they were facing danger by wild cats and other invasive species. Until 2005, all of kakapos moved to four special islands where all invasive species are cleaned, the population were increasing back to nowadays quantity.

Fiorldland National Park is in the south-west of the South Island, just near the largest lake in the island Lake Te Anau and the town Te Anau. Another famous endangered species Takahe (南秧雞) also to be found in this area.

Above cover affixed with whole set WWF Kakapo issue sent from Te Anau, features with New Zealand Demoiselle (紐西蘭鯛) and Kotukutuku (倒掛金鐘) stamps, which issued on 1979 and 1999.

** Remind you that this post, and all old posts related to WWF thematic, are also specially post on WWF special page. Please kindly visit there, thank you.

4 November 2009

Miscellaneous from Taiwan

I known it is not a time have conclusion of this beautiful Taiwan domestic bird definitive stamp set. However I would like to show three miscellaneous items include below newest pre-paid envelope which related to this stamp set, when the files stored in my computer couple of time.

Island Thrush (白頭鶇)
Taiwan (2009)

23rd September, 2009. Taipei (Processing Centre)

Above pre-paid envelope issued as traditional Chinese style to suitable most of Taiwanese writing habit, locals mostly write letter and envelope in vertical style and never change their habit for a long time. Nowadays in Chinese circle, only Taiwanese still keep this habit and most of others are using horizontal or western style. Pre-paid stamp is Island Thrush originally issued on January of this year with the denomination NT$9, now changed to NT$25 for basic domestic registered mail rate.

Siberian Rubythroat (野鴝)
Taiwan (2008)

30th October, 2008. Taipei

Second one is a returned mail sent from Taipei to Hengchun, the insufficient address and receiver were quite popular in last year which come from local awarded film Cape No. 7 and its name of actress. Special seal on the left side of envelope illustrated a screen of the film postmarked by Pingtung post office.

Special thanks James of these two interested items.

Maxicard
Daurian Redstart (黃尾鴝)
Taiwan (2007)

3rd November, 2007. Taipei

The last one is a failed maxicard, there may not have any problem when take a first look. But it is incorrect due to the card illustrated Common Redstart (紅尾鴝) and the stamp is Daurian Redstart.

1 November 2009

Rediscovered woodpecker

Caatinga Woodpecker (皮奧伊啄木鳥) ; Mottled Owl (雜斑林鴞)
Brazil (2008)

14th October, 2009. Botafogo, Río de Janeiro

After 80 years of its disappear, an example of Caatinga Woodpecker been rediscovered in Goiatins, the border between Tocantins and Maranhão on year 2006. Before this year, ornithologist though that it was extinct after 1926 and only one specimen collected by museum of Brazil but it stored in New York, it originally considered as a sub-species of Rufous-headed Woodpecker (棕頭啄木鳥) which also to be found in Brazil. On 2007, total recorded 23 individual examples live in Água Branca to Dianópolis.

Mottled Owl is a sized between 28 to 38 cm owl to be found in range from Mexico to Argentina, include Brazil. The owl is locally common of South American countries, mostly habits in dry forests and woodlands up to 7500 feet above sea level. Thanks Cristina of this pretty cover, the stamp set issued as Mercosul series, it is a regional trade agreement of South America with 5 member countries.
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