Maximaphily (Maxicards)
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24 December 2010

European Robin
知更鳥

Ireland (2010)
4th November, 2007. Dublin (First day special postmark)

Wish you merry Christmas ! This time only show a maxicard features Irish Robin, it is the second time arrange same theme maxicard while last one was Luxembourg on 2007. The card still using my own illustrated robin postcard used on Post & Go issue on September.

13 December 2010

Razorbill
刀嘴海雀

Portugal (2008)
30th June, 2010. Peniche

Nothing special, these maxicard and cover just the last items to complete the series International Polar Year, which issued on 2008. This time, I selected Peniche where is an important fishing town in the western coast of Portugal. The town with near 15,000 inhabitants also is a bird-watching paradise as there have cliffs and reserved islands Berlengas are breeding places of seabirds.

30 November 2010

Tsimshatsui Terminus
尖沙咀火車總站

Hongkong (2010)
28th September, 2010. Tsimshatsui (with pictorial postmark and special postmark)
5th October, 2010. Maonshan (Postage due)

To commemorate the centenary of railway service of Hongkong, the Hongkong Post issued a set of 6 stamps illustrate historical locomotives and modern trains on September. Since 1910, the British section of Kowloon-Canton Railways was terminated at Tsimshatsui and the permanent terminus building was opened after two years of service begun, until it replaced by new Hung Hom terminus on 1975. Tsimshatsui Terminus was be demolished on 1978 and the site rebuilt as Hongkong Space Museum and Cultural Centre of Hongkong, only the clock tower keeps as heritage site of Hongkong.

The $1,80 stamp illustrates a diesel locomotive number 51 which began on service since mid-50's years, to replace old stream locomotives. The first two, fleet number 51 and 52 was arrived on 1955 from its origin place Australia, named as Sir Alexander and Lady Maurine respectively. Locomotive 51 retired on 1997 and restored at Railway Museum since 2004, and locomotive 52, with locomotives number 53, 54, 55 were turned back to Australia continuing serve passenger or cargo carriages.

The streamlined art in gold colour is Tsimshatsui Clock Tower. In the meantime the postcard shown the sunset sight of Tsimshatsui Terminus and former Tsimshatsui Post Office in 1975, the last year of the service of Tsimshatsui Terminus. The post office, be relocated at Middle Road on 1976 and this small house demolished as well as the terminus at the same time.


Meanwhile, an exhibition held at Heritage Museum of Hongkong, Shatin. To show memories of the 100 years of railway service. Below is the postcard for this exhibition affixed with $1,40 stamp which illustrates stream locomotive.

20th October, 2010. Hongkong

5 November 2010

Blue Tit
藍山雀

Finland (2001)
6th August, 2010. Kuopio

Not much special but these two card and cover are nice collection for my roller postmark series. Since new century the post office of Finland issues natural or culture self-adhesive definitive series on each year. Before, in here shown the series of 2000 and 2003. Now is the series of 2001 featuring Blue Tit, Golden Oriole and White Wagtail. Which are very common in Europe and Asia.

Above maximum card seems harmony as the background of the card and stamp also a branch of Pine (松樹). Pine is common tree to be found in woodlands area of northern countries. Most people pick the fruit of pine for decoration of present or tree during Christmas.

28 October 2010

Cabo da Roca
羅卡岬

Portugal (2008)
19th June, 2010. Lisbon

Cabo da Roca is the westernmost point of Eurasian mainland, located in the west of Lisbon 42km, the capital of Portugal. There has one lighthouse faces Atlantic Ocean built on 1772 and it still works nowadays. A monument with a crucifix bearing an inscription by Luís de Camões (c.1524-1580) in Portuguese not far away from the lighthouse says Aqui, onde a terra se acaba e o mar começa (Here, where the land ends and the sea begins).

Portugal (2008)
19th June, 2010. Lisbon

18 October 2010

Post & Go labels
英國雀鳥郵資標籤



From left to right :
Wood Pigeon (斑尾林鴿) ; Starling (椋鳥)
European Robin (知更鳥) ; Goldfinch (紅額金翅雀)

Great Britain (2010)
17th September, 2010. Bristol

In 2007, Royal Mail and Post Office tried introduce self-service posting machines in selected branches, it will be more convenient to customer to post stuff. Following the machine, there has one specially designed label using on this system, and it was firstly appeared at Bristol. The label in golden coloured with queen head, similar with Machin definitive.

After 2 years, Post Office considered change the design of labels, the idea came from the election results of Big Garden Birdwatch by RSPB. 6 of 20 be selected in first series and more will be on further issues. Six birds are commonly and popular in nationwide are House Sparrow, Wood Pigeon, Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Starling and Robin, however only 5 labels in each strip, the sixth label will be provided on next strip.

A set of self-illustrated maxicards be arranged, it was the first set self-illustrations be produced as mass production. All illustrations similar as the backgrounds of this blog and 4 selected to show as below. The second series of Bird Post & Go labels is planned to be issued on September.

11 October 2010

Tai O
大澳

Hongkong (2005)
26th May, 2008. Tai O

Hongkong (2005)
26th May, 2008. Tai O

The stamps is joint-issued with Portugal in 2005, shown two fishing village of Tai O of Hongkong and Aldeia da Carrasqueira of Portugal.

Tai O is in the westernmost of Hongkong, a famous fishing village in Lantau Islands. Most of resident are Tanka when the village founded on early 16th century, it has been occupied by Portuguese in short period. In this 200 years, resident mainly work in fishing or salt field, as it nearby Pearl River, it also attracted Hoklo and Hakka live in there.

In recent days, as less people work in fishing, seafood manufacturing and processing become popular industry of the village. Moreover as the village still keeping in old-fashion style in model Hongkong, it also attracts tourist come from urban area or overseas. Salted cod and shrimp paste are famous local products to tourist.

The houses in Tai O called Pang Uk as known as stilt houses are built beside the rivers, it is the most attraction in Tai O. Unfortunately in 2000, a fire mishap damaged half of old wooden houses and now the houses rebuilt with metal materiel, little bit lost its feature.

These two postcards are published by Tai O Workshop, two of six cards shown the salted cods and Pang Uk respectively. The workshop, together with antiques and almost Tai O village, were destroyed by typhoon on 2008.

25 September 2010

Ascensor da Bica

Portugal (2010)
29th June, 2010. D. Luis I, Lisbon
(Praça de Dom Luís I)

Ascensor da Bica is an historical funicular in Lisbon, it was opened on June 28 of 1892 links between Rua de São Paulo and Largo de Calhariz. A 245m funicular built in the middle of Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo. In 2002, it classified as National Monument of Portugal, together with Ascensor da Glória and Elevador de Santa Justa in Lisbon.

19 September 2010

Characteristic Streets in Hong Kong - Des Voeux Road West
德輔道西

Hongkong (2010)
24th June, 2010. Saiyinpun

Des Voeux Road West is popular dried seafood market in Hongkong, Traditionally these food is must for important festivals or Chinese New Year, before the festival, the street becomes busy as many people spend their whole day on choosing the foods. Postcard shown a salted-fishes shop on the street during early-1900s, now the street  still have such hawkers remind unchange.

Characteristic Streets in Hong Kong - Nathan Road
彌敦道

Hongkong (2010)
24th June, 2010. Kowloon Central

Nathan Road is the main street in Kowloon Peninsular, since late 19th century it is the busiest street and called Robinson Road in the beginning. To reduce the confuse of same named street in Island side, it was be renamed as Nathan Road. Now the street is famous to locals or tourist as full of famous or popular branded shops or hotels. Neon signs is the main feature of the street during at night.

Photo of the postcard was taken on lpost-1960s from Yaumatei area, the buildings on the two sides have been rebuilt after 1980s.

Characteristic Streets in Hong Kong - Pottinger Street
砵典乍街

Hongkong (2010)
24th June, 2010. Wyndham Street

On mid-June of 2010, Hongkong Post issued a set of Locals Characteristic Streets features six old street sights of Hongkong. Pottinger Street is the very first street built in Hongkong. It stylish with stone slabs for easy for people to go up and down and to drain away stormwater. Locals call its name as Stone Slab Street.

18 September 2010

Ponte 25 de Abril, Lisbon
里斯本 4 月 25 日大橋

Portugal (2008)
16th October, 2008. Lisbon / Junqueira

Ponte 25 de Abril, in English 28th of April Bridge is the 6th longest suspension bridge in Europe, it was inaugurated on August 6, 1966 with two levels for train and road transport. It across Río Tujo and links with Lisbon and Almada. Originally it named Ponte Salazar before 1974, the Carnation Revolution.

Above per-paid postcard shown the bridge sight from coast of Lisbon area, the opposite coast is Almada and the left side of the bridge is Cristo-Rei, a Catholic monument of Jesus Christ built on 1949.

17 September 2010

Year of the Tiger
庚寅虎年

Hongkong (2010)
6th February, 2010. Lok Fu

2010, is the Tiger year in Chinese zodiac and new year is a big festival in Chinese cultural. To commemorate this festival, most of postal administration issued a set of stamps. Above maxicard is  issue of Hongkong which cancel on the day of issue at Lok Fu post office. The place, Lok Fu originally named Lok Fu Ngam, or in Cantonese is Tiger Rock. After resettlement blocks of Lok Fu Ngam and Wan Tau Hom built, it was be renamed as the reason is it seems unhappiness in Chinese.

17 June 2010

Black-cheeked Lovebird
黑頰情侶鸚鵡

Zambia (1996)
31st May, 2010. Nodla

Black-cheeked Lovebird is mainly in green with blackish head and reddish bill, it is endemic to Victoria Waterfall area of Zambia, as it habits in relatively small range area caused the bird easy be effected by habitat change, now it listed as vulnerable in ICUN list. Same as most lovebirds, it also is a popular pet over the world, in wild area it mostly inhabits woodland.

1 June 2010

Faroese Guillemot
法羅海鴉

Faroe Islands (1978)
8th April, 2010. Kirkja

Kirkja also is a small village with population 25 in the north-easternmost island Fugloy. The village has a road connect to another village Hattarvík where has 17 inhabitant. However the island doesn't have road connect with other islands and helicopter or ferry are only transport between neighbourhood islands. In the north-west of the island also is a famous birdwatching place of the Faroes, as same as Vestmanne, there has a attractive cliff to seabirds.

Faroese Guillemot is a sub-species of Common Guillemot (普通海鴉), the main different of the sub-species is it only to be found in the Faroes and it has white lines from eyes to its neck.

Atlantic Puffin
角嘴海雀

Faroe Islands (1978)
9th April, 2010. Mykines

Mykines is a small village located in the westernmost island of the Faroese named same name as Mykines, only 11 inhabitant live in the village whole year. However, it is a colonies of seabirds especially puffins. It is quite oddly for foreigner but very normal in local, puffin is a daily food in the Faroes. Residents always climb up the cliff to catch puffins and their eggs. In the Faroes, all parts of puffin are useful and never wasted.

Northern Gannet
北鰹鳥

Faroe Islands (1978)
12th April, 2010. Vestmanne

Vestmanne is a westernmost town of the Faroese largest island Steymoy, the island also is the location of Faroese capital Tórshavn. There has a tunnel and road link between two towns and nearby islands and towns. In the north-west of Vestmanne is a good birdwatching place as there is a cliff to provide breeding place for number of seabirds. Gannets, puffins and skua are ordinary visitors of this area.

Northern Gannet is a common seabird in north Atlantic to be found in east and south of Iceland ; western Steymoy, the Faroes ; northern Scotland and coast of Canada and Newfoundland. The species with large number of population and is a migratory bird, in winter it migrates to further south of Atlantic.

24 May 2010

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.

18 May 2010

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.

6 May 2010

Atlantic Puffin
角嘴海雀

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.

29 April 2010

Greylag Goose
灰雁

Algeria (2001)
2nd February, 2011. Sétif

On the opposite side of Portugal, the African country Algeria also has some wetlands located in the southern basin of Mediterranean Sea. Below two maxicards shown Pied Avocet and Greylag Goose (灰雁) respectively, also are common birds of El-Kala National Park, lakes area nearby El Kala. Although the cards cancelled at Sétif, the postmark date are interestingly marked on the 2nd February, 2011 !

Pied Avocet
反嘴鷸

Algeria (2001)
2nd February, 2011. Sétif

Pied Avocet (反嘴鷸) which is commonly to be found in Ria Formosa Natural Park. The pre-paid postcard is part of series Aves de Portugal definitive stamps shown as well as before, and now the stamps were not valid for postage in Portugal.

25 April 2010

Herring Gull
銀鷗

Sweden (2001)
9th February, 2010. Sturkö

This Swedish maxicard more clearly to show what does the bird look like, L. a. argentatus is in bulky size and with extensive white in the wing-tips while compare with L. a. argentatus, the another sub-species of Herring Gull. This maxicard bears intaglio multi-coloured stamp and attractive purpled Sturkö date-postmark, Sturkö is an island in the southernmost of Sweden, there have many islands nearby and is one of famous birdwatching place of this country.

7 April 2010

Spotted Flycatcher
斑鶲

Isle of Man (2000)
26th January, 2010. Douglas

After two years, another request mail from Isle of Man Philatelic Bureau. Same as last mail, another stamp which comes from same WWF issue has been used, the only different is this is maxicard. The card specially printed in black and white colour shown the bird standing on the dead branch. Spotted Flycatcher is very common in Europe and also western Asia as there is breeding place of them. In winter, it migrates to Africa and south-west Asia.

20 February 2010

Tengmalm's Owl
鬼鴞

Switzerland (2007)
22nd January, 2010. Saignelegier

In the other side of the world, another maxicard also produced from Switzerland. The card was completed the 2007 Domestic Bird definitive series as other three were arranged on 2007 and 2008 respectively. As the last description, Tengmalm's Owl also very common in Asia, Europe and North America. In Switzerland, it mostly appear in pin forest area of Jura, the small mountain range in the north of Alps. The card shown below is a Tengmalm's owl nesting in a branch of pin tree, and cancelled in Saignelegier, where is a municipality in the canton of Jura. A small nature reserve Etang de la Gruère is located in this municipality.

Long-eared Owl
長耳鴞

St Vincent and the Grenadines (2001)
6th November, 2009. Kingstown, St Vincent

Afer a year, another new items from St Vincent was came again, this time are one maxicard and one cover with a set of Owls of the world, which was issued on 2001. The stamps illustrated 6 different owls however seems none of them to be found in this small islands. But after I checked the books and related refernece, Long-eared owl is a common owl species in Asia, Europe and North America. After the breeding season the birds may partially migrate to south for winter, so I think there have a chance to obverse Long-eared Owl in St Vincent.

Same as last mail, the card cancelled by philatelic bureau of St Vincent again. Different than last mail, the cancellation renewed as well as United States' style. It looks more clear and sharpness.

17 February 2010

Kōrakuen, Okayama
岡山 後樂園

Japan (2000)
17th November, 2008. Okayama (Tenjincho)

Kōrakuen is located in Okayama-shi of Okayama, which founded in 1700 by Ikeda Tsunamasa. It also is one of the three greatest gardens in Japan, total area 133,000m². In 1687, the daimyo Ikeda Tsunamasa ordered Tsuda Nagatada to begin construction of the Korakuen, and finished in 1700. Afterwards in 1863, it turned to modern form until present time. It opened to public at 1884 when the owner of the garden transferred the ownership to Okayama Prefecture. During the flooding of 1934 and World War II, the garden suffered severe damage, it restored Edo period paintings and diagrams after the destroyed.

10 February 2010

Barn Swallow
家燕

Hongkong (2006)
30th August, 2007. Taipo

Just few days before new year festival in Chinese culture, people may post anything in their home if it is related to fortune ; like blossom, bat, or other elements. Barn swallow is one of fortune element in their culture, as the bird mostly nests under evas of traditional resident and people discovered that swallows always have fortuned family - father and mother hardly to feed their chick until they can fly. Therefore most of Chinese like to illustrate swallows in folk drawing or vest. Especially the art crafts for wedding.

The above maxicard arranged on two years ago. In the past of Hongkong, Taipo is one of the largest market in east New Territories, which is nearby couple of folk villages in Lam Tsuen, Wukautin and Taipo Au. In these villages, there can be easily to be found the nests of Barn Swallow, until now it still commonly actives in this area.

It is the third post but first maxicard related to Barn Swallow, lasts are Isle of Man in Europe and Egypt of Africa.