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.

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.

31 August 2009

Whale-headed Stork

Whale-headed Stork (鯨頭鸛)
Central African Republic (1999)
6th July, 2009. Bangui (Philatelic Bureau)

Whale-headed Stork is one large species in Balaenicipitidae (鸛形目) family, it only lives in tropical rain forest and wetland. Its bill looks similar with whale but it coloured in pink. From eastern African countries like Sudan, Chad, Uganda, Central Africa to southern countries like Rwanda and Zambia can find its image, it also appears in West Africa but rarely can see them. The bird now listed as endangered species due to the population decreasing, it caused by illegal hunting, the change of resident area and there damaged by human. Only 5000 to 8000 birds mostly can be found in Sudan.

20 August 2009

Aquatic wildlife

FrontFrom left to right :
100 F : African Elephantnose (箭形長頜魚)
160 F : White-faced Whistling Duck (白臉樹鴨)
70 F : Collared Kingfisher (白領翡翠) ; 120 F : Ornate Horned Frog (鍾角蛙)
Burkina Faso (1988)

BackRed-fronted Gazelle (紅額瞪羚)
Burkina Faso (1993)

29th July, 2009. Ouagadougou
via France

Here is another mail from newest African series, Burkina Faso is located in West Africa and southern of Sahara. As Volta River flows through its country, Burkina Faso was named Upper Volta but it renamed on 1984. Same as other African countries, Burkina Faso also can find many species inside its national parks and reserve areas.

Above cover franked a set of aquatic wildlife stamps and a set of Red-fronted Gazelle WWF stamps on both sides, unfortunately only White-faced Whistling Duck and Red-fronted Gazelle can be found in West Africa, White-faced Whistling Duck is a resident bird mainly lives in south of Sahara and South America, it normally appears waterfront of ponds and lakes, mostly eats seeds and plants. Red-fronted Gazelle also widely lives in south of Sahara, from Senegal to Ethiopia, it now facing decreasing of population.

The mail sent by philatelic bureau of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso via France to Hongkong. The post office of France affixed one more registered label on the mail to record the status, however it overlapped the stamps at front side and I moved to back side when the mail arrived.

4 August 2009

Red Kite in southern Europe

Red Kite (紅鳶)
Gibraltar (1996)

25th June, 2009. Gibraltar
15th July, 2009. Hongkong

It is the third time to show Red Kite stamp in here, last two are Great Britain and Switzerland separately. In last post says that Red Kite is very common in continent of Europe, however in western and southern of Europe, especially along the seashore of the Mediterranean, it is rarely to find its appearance. In winter, there are small number of Red Kites fly over Gibraltar when they migrating from northern Europe to North Africa, this WWF issue illustrated the birds bleed and live around the fort at the top of Rock of Gibraltar.

On the back of this cover franked with one extra stamp Honey Buzzard (鳳頭蜂鷹), it is one of newest Gibraltar definitive stamps but will not show in here.

9 July 2009

Congo Grey Parrot, part II

Congo Grey Parrot (剛果灰鸚鵡)
São Tomé e Príncipe (2009)

25th June, 2009. São Tomé

One of latest WWF issue of 2009, illustrates Congo Grey Parrot of São Tomé e Príncipe, an islands and poorest country of Africa. The country located outside Gulf of Guinea and nearest Equator.

Congo Grey Parrot is one of sub-species of African Grey Parrot (非洲灰鸚鵡), this species has been shown here before, the Taiwan and Angola stamps separately. Congo Grey Parrot only can be found in Ilha do Príncipe of this country, and nearest island Bioko of Equatorial Guinea. Congo Grey Parrot owns grey-whited feather, reddish tail with dark-grey bill. Another sub-species of African Grey Parrot is Timneh Grey Parrot (提姆那灰鸚鵡), it is smaller size than Congo Grey Parrot and rarely can be found in natural environment. Population from Guinea-Bissau to Cote d'Ivorie, the different is it owns dark-reddish brown tail and the bill with yellow colour.

Congo Grey Parrot is popular pet over the world, most of parrots are bleeding humanised. Wild lived Congo Grey Parrots are being endangered, unfortunately they are facing illegal catching and trading.

13 June 2009

Pheasants of Bhutan

From left to right :
2Nu : Kalij Pheasant (黑鷴) ; 8Nu : Satyr Tragopan (紅胸角雉)
5Nu : Blyth's Tragopan (灰腹角雉) ; 15Nu : Himalayan Monal (棕尾虹雉)
Bhutan (2003)

22nd May, 2009. Thimphu

Bhutan is one of secret countries in the world, it was closed until 60's year of last century, no visitor could go inside the country. However many people known that it is the most happiness country in the world now but it still is a poor country in southern Asia. As the country lays on the southern Himalayas, weather is cool in whole year so many species live in there.

Above WWF stamps are illustrated four Phasianidae (雉科) species which can be found in south Himalayas, those species are resident birds widely live in Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and northern part of India, Burma and Thailand.

3 May 2009

Fijian Monkey-faced Bat

Fijian Monkey-faced Bat (斐濟尖齒狐蝠)
Fiji (1997)
2nd March, 2009. Suva
6th March, 2009. Registration office, Fiji

Fijian Monkey-faced Bat is endemic to Fiji now listed as critically endangered species, it only can be found in mountain area of Taveuni, the third large island of Fiji. In wild area, only a pair to five bats have been recorded in recent years and it being extinct in the wild.

The above cover is part of request of Fijian Dove issue, thus the cancellation is same as other two shown in here. Two extra definitive stamps illustrate Striated Heron (綠鷺) and Island Thrush (白頭鶇) were made-up for the enough postage, issued on 1995 and 2003 separately but overprinted with new value in unknown day.

11 April 2009

Seastars of Indian Ocean

34p : Crown-of-Thorns (棘冠星魚) ; 15p : Cushion Star (饅頭海星)
26p : Azure Sea Star (藍指海星) ; 56p : Banded Bubble Star (赤麗棘海星)
British Indian Ocean Territory (2001)
18th February, 2009. Diego Garcia, Chagos

This is the first mail sent from BIOT, I felt disappoint as not bird stamps, cover franking with first WWF issue of BIOT illustrated four different sea stars, anyway it still looks nice and hope will receive bird stamps in next mail. Four seastars are seem common in Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean, as this area like Seychelles, Maldives and Mauritius are popular for diving, some visitors caught them as souvenir caused the quantity of them are decreasing.

British Indian Ocean Territory is in the middle of Indian Ocean, same far away from east bank of Africa and Indonesia, wihich occupied by Great Britain for military facility used by the country and United States.

3 April 2009

Mourning Wheatear

From left to right :
Roe Deer (野生狍) ; Greek Tortoise (希臘陸龜)
Blanford's Fox (阿富汗狐) ; Kuhl's Pipistrelle (庫氏伏翼)
Israel (2000, 2001)
17th February, 2009. Kiriat Motzkin
23rd February, 2009. Hongkong

Two covers feature two beautiful animal stamp sets which one illustrated Blanford's fox and other is four different Israelis animals, thank you for great help of Juri. The Blanford's fox set, is a part of World Wild Fund series issued on 2000, one of the stamp illustrated fox catching Mourning Wheatear (悲鵖), a species widely lives from Pakistan to Mauritania, and also farthermost to Tanzania.

As unexpected reasons, below cover spent a month to dispatch for Hongkong, while the registered cover on the above only a week.

17th February, 2009. Kiriat Motzkin

17 March 2009

Field birds in British Isles

Here I would present three items came from British Isles but they were sent from three different places respectively. Those birds shown below are very common on the islands, either in field, gardens or bank of rivers. They are small, can sing nice songs and pleasant.

Great Britain

Song Thrush (歐歌鶇)
Great Britain (1998)
10th June, 2008. Chelmsford, Essex

A popular garden songbird can be found in farmland and most of gardens, however the populations in England are decreasing in recent years, now it is Red Listed species. In England, there are about one million residents recorded. The cancellation of the maxicard is date-postmark of Chelmsford, a city in the east of England. There have a wetland in the town centre and most bird-watchers obverse the birds in there.


Left : Goldcrest (戴菊) ; Right : Common Blackbird (烏鶇)
Ireland (2002)
29th April, 2008. Dublin

Goldcrest is the smallest bird in isles, mostly can be found them in coniferous forests and woodlands, also suburban area and gardens. A resident in most area through whole the year but during summer in north Scotland. Common Blackbird is the most common in field and gardens. As named as blackbird, overall its feather are black but with yellowed bill. Above cover franked with three definitive stamps, birds were issued on 2002 and wildflower was issued on 2006, which for replaces bird issue. 10c is illustrated the Mountain Avens (仙女木), a Wild Flower common to the Burren.

Isle of Man

Barn Swallow (家燕)
Isle of Man (2000)
25th April, 2008. Douglas

Barn Seallow is very common in the world, which likes nesting under eaves. Can be found them where have worms or small insects, lives in northern area but widely seen them in summer. Isle of Man is in the middle of Britain and Ireland, a part of Crown dependency of Great Britain.

14 March 2009

Leopard Seal and Adelie Penguin

Leopard Seal (豹海豹)
Australian Antarctic Territory (2001)
15th February, 2009. Casey Station

Leopard Seal is second large seal in Antarctic, just after Southern Elephant Seal (南象海豹). Back colour is dark grey but light greyed abdomen, however it named leopard as its neck with black spots. Killer Whale (虎鯨) is its only natural enemy, smallest marine life like krill to large animal penguin also can become its food.

This set of WWF stamp shown the Leopard Seals playing with Adelie Penguins (阿德利企鵝), actually those penguins look facing danger as sometimes Leopard Seal kills them. When seal wants to catch them, it will lay under the water and wait penguins jump into water.

The cover was sent from Casey Station of AAT, that means I collected two station's postmarks. The postmark features a couple of Australian Sea Lion (澳洲海獅), they look very cute. Also have one signet on the left-bottom of envelope illustrated Adelie Penguins lay on a wooden case, do you think these three penguins look like escape the dangerous ?

3 March 2009

Steller's Eider

Steller's Eider (小絨鴨)
Åland (2001)

Arctic Tern (北極燕鷗)
Åland (2000)
16th February, 2009. Mariehamn

Before I only collect bird stamps, issues from some countries are very attractive for me and continue to collect them, Åland is one of them. It doesn't issue many stamps in each year, just around 20 to 25 stamps, and they are not costly. However, it is not easy to find posted envelope from there - if not visit or travel to there.

Above mail, thanks for correspondence of Åland Post, helped me coordinate the cover. As the registered label too large for C6 size envelope, they found a plastic bag put all things together. I franked it on the back side of envelope after it arrived.

Steller's Eider is a rear migratory bird found in northern countries. As seen in the stamps, male feather is much colourful than female which only have browned colour. They bleeding in small pound but live in near shore. On the back side of the cover features another bird called Arctic Tern, it has been appeared on Portugal stamp and shown here before.

Dear swap partners, as some reasons, swap posted First Day Cover activity will be suspended on May, that means I will not have ability to send you posted First Day Cover in future, I am sorry for this information. However normal exchange will not have any change, I am happy to swap ordinary covers from your place, thank you.

28 February 2009

Extended WWF collection (2)

Left : Common Viper (極北蝰) ; Right : Fire Salamander (火蠑螈)
Belgium (2000)
21st January, 2009. Mechelen

A pair of envelope contain a set of WWF stamps issued by Belgium on nine years ago, stamps are illustrated four european Amphibians (兩棲類) and Reptiles (爬蟲類) separately. Stamps designed simply without any background, as it issued on 2000, face values are indicated in two currencies - Belgian Franc and Euro.

Fire Salamander and Sand Lizard are being popular pets nowadays, although whole skin of Fire Salamander is poisonous. Many websites teach people how to pet those species at home or bleeding juvenile. As like as most species, wild lived habitants are decreasing in recent years, especially in Europe.

Covers feature extra Buzin stamps issued on 2005, it is Marsh Tit (泥澤山雀). It is very common in Europe except Spain and Portugal, and can be found in forest of north-east China. In China, it is traditional pet as they can sing a nice sound, thus they are facing illegal hunting and trading in its place for a long time.

Left : Sand Lizard (捷蜥蜴) ; Right : Common Tree Frog (歐洲樹蟾)
Belgium (2000)
21st January, 2009. Mechelen

27 February 2009

Extended WWF collection (1)

Chinese White Dolphin (中華白海豚)
Hongkong (1999)
14th November, 1999. Maonshan

On today and tomorrow, I would like to show three groups of cover which are not related to birds, they are responsible to my swap partners. First one is a posted first day cover of Chinese White Dolphin issued by Hongkong in 1999, it is the only one and first WWF issue of Hongkong, and only two WWF sets have been issued in great Chinese area - other one is Chinese Pangolin (穿山甲) issued by Macao in 1995.

Most of dolphins are live in offshore of Cheklapkok Airport, southern Lantau and Tai O. People begin to pay attention to them since the location of new airport confirmed at Cheklapkok on 1992. Before the reclamation of airport, Cheklapkok and Tung Chung, north Lantau was a natural environment and wetland for different species, included endemic species Romer's Tree Frog (盧文氏樹蛙) which only be found in there and Lamma Island. Nowadays, only the dolphins can be seen in original offshore area but frogs are moved to other places.

As the licensing problem, only stamps, pre-paid postcards and first day cover carry WWF logo. The beautiful souvenir sheet which shown continuing actions of dolphins is without logo. After a year, Hongkong Post reprinted the $5 stamp on one sheetlet to commemorate stamp exhibition held on 2001.

21 February 2009

Little Tern

Little Tern (小燕鷗)
Croatia (2006)

Orsini's Viper (歐西尼氏腹蛇)
Croatia (1999)
10th February, 2009. Zagreb
16th February, 2009. Hongkong

An interesting cover features two different WWF stamp sets issued by Croatia. The country has been issued three sets of WWF stamp, I still missing the one issued on 2004. Little Tern seems is a normal seabird in the world, can be found offshore of Asia, Europe, eastern Australia and western Africa. However the population has declined or become extinct in most European countries, and only few river or inland suitable for them to habitat. In Croatia, Sava and Drava, which is located in the border of Hungary and Croatia can be found the habitations.

5 February 2009

European Turtle Dove

European Turtle Dove (歐斑鳩)
Madeira (2002)
25th February, 2008. São Vicente, Madeira

A small (27mm) chalk-browned Turtle Dove with black and white veins on neck and dark-browned wings, size is smaller than Rufous Turtle Dove. Mostly they are widely living in Europe, Eurasia and North Africa. In Madeira, good bird-watching place is São Vicente, a small village in the north of Madeira.

Above cover is sent from São Vicente, the return address I added back after it come back. However, I known one friend who lives in Madeira afterward, her house is in São Vicente and nearest this hotel. She surprises this cover and sent me some postcards from there, it is really a nice place.

1 February 2009

Bulwer's Pheasant

Bulwer's Pheasant (鱗背鷴)
Brunei Darussalam (2001)
22nd March, 2008. MPO, Belait

Endemic bird of Borneo forests, it only can be observed in eastern Malaysia and Brunei. However some zoos and parks feed them humanly. Bulwer's Pheasant is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List nowadays as population rapidly decreasing. Cover shown two stamps illustrated mainly different between two sexes, male is in blue colour but female and juveniles are in brown colours. Sender of this mail Hung is a Chinese who lives in there, thus he can write 'airmail' in Chinese characters, thanks for his great mail.

31 January 2009

Black-billed Amazon Parrot

Black-billed Amazon (黑嘴亞馬遜鸚鵡)
Jamaica (2006)
5th January, 2009. Kingston

It is second mail with parrot stamps from Caribbean, thanks for Jamaica Philatelic Bureau kindly helpful. The last one is from Cuba which is also WWF issue has been shown in here before. Same as Cuba Parrot, Black-billed Amazon is a sub-species of Amazon Parrot and they are endemic in Cuba or Jamaica separately. Amazon Parrots are commonly in green colour however their bill or head is in different colours. In recent years, it is very common to find them in pet markets, they are very beautiful but noisy enough.

27 January 2009

Christmas Island Imperial-Pigeon and Hawk-Owl

(L) Christmas Island Imperial-Pigeon (聖誕島帝鴿) and
(R) Christmas Island Hawk-Owl (聖誕島鷹鴞)
Christmas Island (2002)
8th August, 2008. Christmas Island

A beautiful gutter block appears on the envelope cancelled by special cancellation of Christmas Island which illustrated Christmas Red Crab (聖誕島紅蟹). Those three species are only can be observed in Christmas Island and its neigbourhood Cocos (Keeling) Islands, these two area are overseas territories of Australia located in eastern Indian Ocean, south of Indonesia. They have their own stamps inscriptions are Christmas Island or Cocos (Keeling) Islands separately. However those stamps are valid for postage in Australia mainland.

16 January 2009

Chinstrap Penguin

Chinstrap Penguin (南極企鵝)
South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands (2008)
10th July, 2008. King Edward Point (First day special postmark)
9th September, 2008. King Edward Point
via Falkland Islands and London
7th October, 2008. Hongkong

One of new WWF issues in 2008. A cute penguin species in the world which normally seen in South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands, South Orkney Islands, and islands around Antarctic Circle. They also call Ringed Penguins or Bearded Penguins as they are look like wearing black helmets. Cover is not sent on first day of issue due to the transport problem, it bears a regular postmark on the back side with one 90p Chinstrap Penguin and 5p definitive stamps.

14 January 2009

Caribbean's birds (3) - Cuba

Cuban Conure (古巴小鸚哥)
Cuba (1998)
21st December, 2007. Havana
24th January, 2008. Hongkong

A special cover from secret country, the country closed over 50 years but now it beginning open to the world. Cuban Conure only breeding and living in Cuba, the population fewer than 5,000 individuals. However, from the data of BirdLife, it still appears on domestic market for trading. On the meantime, two domestic bird stamps also appear on the cover, they are Wild Turkey (野火雞) and Helmeted Guineafowl (珠雞). Seem all the birds can be found in Cuban markets.

10 January 2009

African Buffalo

African Buffalo (非洲水牛)
Guinea-Bissau (2002)
2nd December, 2008. Bissau

A WWF issue again, this buffalo is different than Asian species which is domestic animal, they can't be eat or make cheese from their milk. African Buffalo can be found in grasslands and floodplains located south of Sahara and Namibia. This envelope I sent on August of 2007 and just came back few days ago, it spent near 1.5 years.

6 January 2009

European Roller

European Roller (藍胸佛法僧)
Lithuania (2008)
8th September, 2008. Vilnius (First day special postmark)
6th October, 2008. Vilnius
11th October, 2008. Hongkong

A very common and large globe population bird in the old days, which can be found from Eurasia to North Africa, estimated 100,000 pair recorded in Europe. However the amount decreasing largely in following years, nowadays only 30 pairs can be observed in Latvia and Lithuania and no record of Estonia and Central Asia. The conservation states now is near threatened. This first day cover sent after a month of issue day, beside these 4 nice European Rollers, two bird stamps franked on the back side, which they are Great Snipe (巨鷸) and Corn Crake (長腳秧雞) separately.