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28 November 2013

Red-vented Bulbul

Red-vented Bulbul (黑喉紅臀鵯)
Pakistan (2013)
21th October, 2013. Karachi

Red-vented Bulbul is resident breeder across the Indian Subcontinent, including Sri Lanka extending east to Burma and parts of Tibet. It has been introduced in many other parts of the world and has established itself in the wild on several Pacific islands including Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, and Hawaii. It has also established itself in parts of Dubai, the United Arab Emirates and New Zealand. It is included in the list of the world's 100 worst invasive alien species.

22 November 2013

Singapore-Vietnam joint issue

Grey Peacock-pheasant (灰孔雀雉) ; Red Junglefowl (茶花雞)
Singapore (2013)
18th October, 2013. Change Alley

Singapore and Vietnam once again to issue common theme stamps on 2013, to celebrate the 40 years of diplomatic relations between two countries.

Grey Peacock-Pheasant is a large Southeast Asian member of the order Galliformes, the national bird of Myanmar. It is a large pheasant, up to 76 cm long and greyish brown with finely spotted green eyespots, an elongated bushy crest, bare pink or yellow facial skin, white throat, and grey iris, bill and legs. To be distributed in lowland and hill forests of mainland Assam and Southeast Asia, but excluding most of Indochina as well as the entire Malayan Peninsula.

Red Junglefowl is thought to be ancestral to the domestic chicken, with some hybridzation with the Grey Junglefowl. The Red Junglefowl was first domesticated at least five thousand years ago in Asia, then taken around the world, and the domestic form is kept globally as a very productive food source of both meat and eggs.

17 November 2013

Kerguelen Tern (Revised)

Kerguelen Tern (克格倫燕鷗)
French Australia and Antarctica Territories (2010)
20th October, 2010. Port-aux-Français, Kerguelen
17th December, 2010. Hongkong

Kerguelen Tern is a dark grey tern with reddish bill mostly appears in Southern Hemisphere, it near endemic to Kerguelen Islands, the part of French Territories in south Indian Ocean. Although the bleeding place is Kerguelen Islands, it also to be found in the Prince Edward Islands and Crozet Islands, while they are in small colonies. Total population of Kerguelen Tern is around 3,500 to 6,000 individuals, however it is not final data as the main breeding place Kerguelen Islands was not include.

The above cover specially thanks to Jean-Pierre of his great help, just spent two month on the way from sub-Antarctica islands to Hongkong. Please note that TAAF still using traditional registration label instead of common UPU standard 13-digit barcode label, it is perhaps there is not possible to install computerised postal system in Antarctica and lack of demand.

Kerguelen Tern (克格倫燕鷗)
French Australia and Antarctica Territories (2010)
18th February, 2013. Port-aux-Français, Kerguelen

14 November 2013

Surtsey

Left : Glaucous Gull (北極鷗) ; Right : Surtsey (敘爾特塞)
Iceland (2009, 2013)

12th September, 2013. Reykjavík (First day special postmark)

Surtsey is a volcanic island off the southern coast of Iceland. At 63.303°N 20.6047°W Coordinates: 63.303°N 20.6047°W, is the southernmost point of Iceland. It was formed in a volcanic eruption which began 130 metres below sea level, and reached the surface on 14 November 1963. The eruption lasted until 5 June 1967, when the island reached its maximum size of 2.7 km². Since then, wind and wave erosion have caused the island to steadily diminish in size: as of 2002, its surface area was 1.4 km².

A gull colony has been present since 1984, although gulls were seen briefly on the shores of the new island only weeks after it first appeared. The gull colony has been particularly important in developing the plant life on Surtsey, and the gulls have had much more of an impact on plant colonisation than other breeding species due to their abundance. An expedition in 2004 found the first evidence of nesting Atlantic Puffins, which are extremely common in the rest of the archipelago.

6 November 2013

The bird of the year 2013 (Revised)

Postmark : Common Snipe (田鷸)
Germany (2013)

20th July, 2013. Ober-Mörlen

This year, Germany choose Common Snipe as the bird of the year. The bird adults are 25–27cm in length with a 44–47cm wingspan and a weight of 80–140g (up to 180g pre-migration). They have short greenish-grey legs and a very long straight dark bill. The body is mottled brown with straw-yellow stripes on top and pale underneath. They have a dark stripe through the eye, with light stripes above and below it and the wings are pointed.

Overall, the species is not threatened. Populations on the southern fringes of the breeding range in Europe are however declining with local extinction in parts of England and Germany), mainly due to field drainage and agricultural intensification.

Personal stamp : Common Snipe (田鷸)
Germany (2013)

15th September, 2013. Oepfershausen

1 November 2013

Pierre Bignon

Gentoo Penguin (巴布亞企鵝)
French Australia and Antarctica Territories (2011)

18th February, 2013. Port-aux-Français, Kerguelen

However, very sorry it is impossible to find biographic of Pierre Bignon, only known he was born in 1921 and died on 1990. He seems a scientist always research in Antarctica area, so the stamp illustrated Gentoo Penguin but his portrait on the tag.

Gentoo Penguin breeds on many sub-Antarctic islands. The main colonies are on the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Kerguelen Islands; smaller populations are found on Macquarie Island, Heard Islands, South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. The total breeding population is estimated to be over 300,000 pairs. Nests are usually made from a roughly circular pile of stones and can be quite large, 20 cm high and 25 cm in diameter. The stones are jealously guarded and their ownership can be the subject of noisy disputes between individual penguins. They are also prized by the females, even to the point that a male penguin can obtain the favors of a female by offering her a nice stone.
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