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28 May 2010

Eurasian Kestrel

Eurasian Kestrel (紅隼)
Belarus (2010)

23rd March, 2010. Pochtamt, Minsk

After 2008 and 2009, I received a first day cover featuring Bird of the year stamp series issued by Belarus again, the actor of this year is Eurasian Kestrel, thank you Alexander as it is the third year to send me this series. Not surprisingly of the stamp as Eurasian Kestrel is commonly visible on the stamp of European countries, and also the bird is very common to be found in Eurasia. The stamp illustrates a kestrel flying over Minsk, the capital city of Belarus.

24 May 2010

Ducks of South Pacific

Northern Shoveler (琵嘴鴨)
Kiribati (2001)

22nd January, 2001. Kiribati (first day postmark)

Kiribati is in the middle of Pacific Ocean, and it also only one country in the world across the date line. Although the country includes 32 atolls widely dispersed over 3.500.000 kilometre square, there still can be found hundred of seabirds. Here shown a maxicard and an envelope affixed part of Duck stamp set issued by Kiribati on 2001.

Northern Shoveler and Chinese Spot-bill Duck are two ducks commonly to be found in Eurasia, they also migrate to the south during winter. Above maxicard shown the male Northern Shovelers in different colour recorded in winter and summer, while the last card of Hongkong shown both sexes of shoveler. Below cover, affixed with three duck stamps only Chinese Spot-bill Duck to be found in Kiribati. Another two are endemic to New Zealand or Fiji respectively.

From left to right :
Mountain Duck (山鴨) ; Wandering Whistling Duck (胸斑樹鴨)
Chinese Spot-bill Duck (斑嘴鴨)
Kiribati (2001)

19th March, 2010. Betio, Tarawa

21 May 2010

International Year of Biodiversity (2) - South Africa

From top to bottom :
Lilac-breasted Roller (東非佛法僧) ; Southern-white Rhinoceros (南方白犀牛)
South Africa (2010)

11th March, 2010. Henley on Klip, Gauteng

South Africa also participated issue the joint theme International Year of Biodiversity and released on March. Stamps feature 4 different species to be found in South Africa (actually it is better than Portugal one). Above cover, really sent on the day of issue from Henley on Klip, Gauteng. But the unclear postmark shown the day 11th March 2010 ! Earlier one day than the formal day of issue. The cover selected two of the set, which featuring Lilac-breasted Roller and Southern-white Rhinoceros. Lilac-breasted Roller was presented as before, it is a common colourful bird in this country, in the right hand corner also features a Baobab (猴麵包樹) ; another one, rhinoceros has two sub-species of rhinoceros, they are Northern-white Rhinoceros (北方白犀牛) and Southern-white Rhinoceros. Nowadays more than 90 precent rhinoceros are Southern-white Rhinoceros, they mostly live in South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Rhinoceros is an endangered species, as the illegal hunting for the valuable horn.

When close up to the stamp, there have couple of oxpeckers lay in rhinoceros body, they are Red-billed Oxpecker (紅嘴啄牛鳥). The stamp also indicated the bird name, however the illustration seems wrongly with Yellow-billed Oxpeckers (黃嘴啄牛鳥). Oxpeckers are also commonly to be found in sub-Sahara area of African countries, it mostly lay in the bodies of ox, rhinoceros and other large mammal.

18 May 2010

Great Cormorant

Great Cormorant (普通鸕鶿)
Iceland (1996)

5th February, 2010. Flatey

On the 20th March of 2010, the Icelandic active volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted for a month, it resulted the eruption column raised 4 kilometre high and caused the air traffic suspension and disruption in Europe. Eyjafjallajökull is located in the southernmost of Iceland and is one of smallest glaciers in this country. But in the northernmost of Iceland, there has an island called Flatey, as well as the name the island does not hilly and the highest point is 22m. There is the paradise of seabirds like puffins, terns and plovers, of course include cormorants.

Cormorant does not look pretty but as it advents in catching fish, some Chinese fisherman training them for a tool of fishing. The bird very commonly to be found over the world, breeds in offshore islands and cliffs. Above maxicard shown hundreds of cormorant breeding their eggs ; the stamp illustrated similar activity while cancelled by Flatey's postmark.

14 May 2010

Caracara and woodpecker

10c : Red-throated Caracara (紅喉卡拉鷹) ; 235c : Ringed Woodpecker (環啄木)
Netherlands Antilles (2009)

22nd February, 2010. Windwardside, Saba

Do you remember this cover come from the Netherlands Antilles ? It features nice sunset and dolphin stamps sent from Curaçao, the capital town of the islands. After two years I receive a mail from this nation again, and now this time is feature two nice bird stamps - a caracara and a woodpecker. Saba is the smallest island of the Netherlands Antilles, where is located in the north-east shore of South America, opposite of Surinam.

Red-throated Caracara is a common bird of prey in continent of South America, but not offshore islands. Mostly to be found in subtopical to tropical lowland forest and montane forest of most northern South American countries. Ringed Woodpecker also is commonly to be found continent of South America and none of it lives in offshore islands. Mainly inhabited in Bolivia, Brazil, the Amazon Basin and lower drainage of the Tocantins River also most northern South American countries.

10 May 2010

International Year of Biodiversity (1) - Portugal

0,80 € : Minute Hermit (微隱蜂鳥) ; 0,68 € : Giant Panda (大熊貓)
Portugal (2010)

8th March, 2010. Lisbon (featuring first day special postmark)
15th March, 2010. Hongkong

This year, the United Nations proclaimed that 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity. More than 180 countries to be held a thousands of event as celebration. Stamp is one of media to promote this affair, thus until now more than 10 postal administrations include Hongkong participate to issue special stamps of this joint theme, the first one was Swiss issued on March 4. In here shown the one is Portugal, which followed the Swiss issue released on March 8.

The stamp set illustrates 5 different species include fish, shark, hummingbird, giant panda and gorilla. They are live in different environment and geographic zones. Above first day cover only selected two of 4 stamps and souvenir sheet, Minute Hermit and Giant Panda. Minute Hermit is a tiny hummingbird endemic to humid Atlantic Forest, where located in the eastern Brazil. The stamp shown the bird and a plant of orchid, which is its food also to be found in the forest. Giant Panda is origin from Sichuan of China, which also is endemic to this area and unfortunately their inhabit place and conversation area were damaged by earthquake on 2008.

It is the first cover of the International Year of Biodiversity. In future here will be shown the issues of South Africa, Belarus, Hungary and Hongkong. Below cover was sent from Pombal by José, thanks for his great mail includes maxicards and hummingbird stamp.

15th March, 2010. Formiga (Industrial Zone), Pombal

6 May 2010

Atlantic Puffin

Atlantic Puffin (北極海鸚)
Ireland (2004)

23rd February, 2010. Portmagee, Kerry

This time, I really want to show the first philatelic item of Atlantic Puffin. The bird looks cute as its bill in colourful orange, yellow and silver colour, it is very common in northern Atlantic Ocean. Puffin is also a brand of one famous children book publisher base in London. Today, although the bird not in endangered population, as the over-fishing in the North Sea and shores of England Islands nearby Atlantic Ocean, and also the change of inhabit area, the population is decreased by 10 times in 10 years.

Atlantic Puffin mostly breeds in cliffs or deserted islands. In county Kerry, the south-west of Ireland. There have an island called Puffin Island to be found huge of puffin, now there is the famous place for puffin-watching to tourist. Above maxicard cancelled with Portmagee date-postmark, is one small fishing village near the island.

3 May 2010


Emperor Penguin (皇帝企鵝)
France (2009)

16th February, 2010. Oissel

What is 24377A ? Where did the mail come from ? Is it cancelled by secret post office ? Not yet, just a code of mail processing centre in France. Since the beginning of the 21st century, French post renewed their processing centre cancellations to 5-digit code format, either hand-postmark or inkjet postmark. In the one French blog Blog philatélie shown al the code of processing centres, and can be found the useage location of postmark 24377A is Oissel, a town in the Seine-Maritime.

The mail was come from one postcard seller, he always uses nice French fauna stamps on his envelope. This time, he selected an Emperor Penguin stamp which tear out from Preserve the Polar Regions and Glaciers souvenir sheet of 2009. Although the stamp is not real polar theme stamp, the nice illustration about a couple with their children really sound attractive to people.

This is the third cover with the theme Preserve the Polar Regions and Glaciers, last three are Algeria and Canada.
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