Maximaphily (Maxicards)
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6 December 2014

Black-faced Spoonbill

Black-faced Spoonbill (黑面琵鷺)
Taiwan (2004)
20th September, 2014. Chigo

The black-faced Spoonbill has the most restricted distribution of all spoonbills, and it is the only one regarded as endangered. Spoonbills are large water birds with dorso-ventrally flattened, spatulate bills. These birds use a tactile method of feeding, wading in the water and sweeping their beaks from side-to-side to detect prey. Confined to the coastal areas of eastern Asia, it seems that it was once common throughout its area of distribution. It has a niche existence on only a few small rocky islands off the west coast of North Korea, with four wintering sites at Macao, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Vietnam, as well as other places where they have been observed in migration. Wintering also occurs in Cheju, South Korea, Kyushu and Okinawa, Japan, and Red River, Delta Vietnam. More recently, sightings of Black-faced Spoonbill birds were noted in Thailand, the Philippines, mainland China, and Macao They were classified as an endangered species through IUCN in 2005. Declines in their population are predicted in the future, mainly due to the amount of deforestation, pollution, and other man-made industries.

29 November 2014


Switzerland (2014)
4th September, 2014. Bern

Switzerland (2014)
4th September, 2014. Goldau

Eurasian Nutcracker is a passerine bird slightly larger than the Eurasian jay. It has a much larger bill and a slimmer looking head without any crest. The feathering over its body is predominantly a chocolate brown with distinct white spots and streaks. The wings and upper tail are virtually black with a greenish-blue gloss. It is one of three species of nutcracker. The Large-spotted Nutcracker (Nucifraga multipunctata), was formerly considered a subspecies. The other, Clark's Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana), occurs in western North America.

It is a dark brown, broad-winged, short-tailed corvid. Body plumage is mid to dark chocolate brown, heavily spotted with white on face, neck, mantle and underparts. It has a large white loral spot, a white eye-ring, blackish brown cap extending onto the nape, dark blackish wings with a greenish-blue gloss, all white vent, and dark tail with white corners above and a white terminal band on the undertail. In flight, broad wings, white vent and short tail are noticeable; the flight undulating. The black bill is slender and rather long, sharply pointed, and varies in size amongst races. The iris, legs and feet are black.

22 November 2014

Mute Swan & Winter Wren
疣鼻天鵝, 鷦鷯

Mute Swan (疣鼻天鵝)
Ireland (2014)
31st July, 2014. Dublin

Winter Wren (鷦鷯)
  Ireland (2014)
31st July, 2014. Dublin

As last few years, Ireland An Post continues to issue Biodiversity definitive SOAR this year and it is the fifth series of 2014, eight labels issued cover variety family as well as before. The two birds chose as Mute Swan and Winter Wren.

Mute Swan is a species of swan, and thus a member of the waterfowl family Anatidae. It is native to much of Europe and Asia, and (as a rare winter visitor) the far north of Africa. It is also an introduced species in North America, Australasia and southern Africa. The name 'mute' derives from it being less vocal than other swan species. Measuring 125 to 170 cm in length, this large swan is wholly white in plumage with an orange bill bordered with black. It is recognisable by its pronounced knob atop the bill.

Winter Wren is a very small North American bird and a member of the mainly New World wren family Troglodytidae. It was once lumped with Troglodytes pacificus of western North America and Troglodytes troglodytes of Eurasia under the name winter wren. It breeds in coniferous forests from British Columbia to the Atlantic Ocean. It migrates through and winters across southeastern Canada, the eastern half the United States and rarely north-eastern Mexico. Small numbers may be casual in the western United States and Canada.

15 November 2014

Black-legged Kittiwake

Black-legged Kittiwake (三趾鷗)
Ireland (2014)

21st July, 2014. Dublin

An Post increased the standard domestic letter rate again from 60c to 68c on 2014. As the new rate effective on July 21, An Post released couple of new coils and booklet stamps, those stamps still as well as Biodiversity definitive series. However An Post did not have special postmark to match those stamps, here is the maxicard of the stamps.

The Black-legged Kittiwake is a small, cliff-nesting gull, named for its loud, nasal ‘kitti-wake’ call. Its short legs are usually black, helping to distinguish it from the Red-legged Kittiwake. The hind toe of each foot is reduced to a mere bump, meaning it has only three functional toes instead of four, giving the Black-legged Kittiwake its scientific name, tridactyla, which means ‘three-toed’.

25 October 2014

Eastern Bluebird

Bermuda (2014)
13th August, 2014. Hamilton

The first and most drastic decline of the bluebird population occurred in the late 19th century when the House sparrow was introduced. The aggressive and adaptable sparrow multiplied rapidly and soon became the most abundant bird in Bermuda. The sparrow, as a hole-nester, rapidly displaced the bluebirds from the eaves of houses and soon began taking over the cliff holes and hollow of the cedar trees as well.

By the 1930's the natural bluebird nestlings were confined almost exclusively to holes in the trunks of cedar trees. The cedar scale endemic in the late 1940's and early 1950's killed over 90% of Bermuda's cedar forest. In an attempt to remove the eyesore and reforest the island the Government and private landowners felled most of the dead cedars destroying many ideal-nesting hollows.

9 August 2014

Songbirds of the Greek Countryside

From left to right :
Nightingale (夜鶯) ; Greenfinch (金翅雀)
Eurasian Siskin (黃雀)
Greece (2014)
20th March, 2014. Athens

Compared to other European countries, Greece has a particularly rich birdlife. The most populous group are the Passeriformes with a total of 179 species. The best known of those are the bird species known as songbirds. The 5 species of songbirds this commemorative series of stamps captures are the cinnamon-coloured Nightingale with its warbling song, the small-bodied Linnet with its whistle-like song, the well-known and impressive European Goldfinch with its characteristic chirps, the yellow and black Siskin with its warbling melody and the European Greenfinch with its elaborate and long-drawn out song.

Goldfinch (紅額金翅雀)
Greece (2014)
20th March, 2014. Athens

5 July 2014

Blue Tit

Blue Tit (藍山雀)
Andorra (2014)
22nd May, 2014. La Vella

Blue Titis a small passerine bird easily recognisable by its blue and yellow plumage, but various authorities dispute their scientific classification. It usually resident and non-migratory birds, are widespread and a common resident breeder throughout temperate and subarctic Europe and western Asia in deciduous or mixed woodlands with a high proportion of oak. They usually nest in tree holes, although they easily adapt to nest boxes where necessary. Their main rival for nests and in the search for food is the larger great tit.

The Blue Tit prefers insects and spiders for its diet. Outside the breeding season, they also eat seeds and other vegetable-based foods. The birds are famed for their skill, as they can cling to the outermost branches and hang upside down when looking for food.

28 June 2014

Giants of the sky

Wandering Albatross (漂泊信天翁)
Pitcairn Islands (2014)
27th February, 2014. Pitcairn Islands

Wandering Albatrosses have the largest wingspan of any living bird, typically ranging from 2.5 to 3.5m and are capable of remaining in the air without flapping their wings for several hours. Spending most of their life in flight, their range is all the southern oceans from 28° to 60°. The length of the body averages 120 cm (with females being slightly smaller) and they weigh between 6.5 and 12kg. Plumage varies with age, with the juveniles starting chocolate brown changing to white bodies with black and white wings as adults. The large bill is pink, as are the feet. They also have a salt gland that is situated above the nasal passage and helps desalinate their bodies, due to the high amount of ocean water that they imbibe.

They can live for over 50 years and pairs of Wandering Albatrosses mate for life and breed every two years. Breeding takes place on sub-Antarctic islands and one egg is laid usually on an exposed ridge near the sea. During the early stages of the chick's development the parents take turns to sit on the nest while the other searches for food. They are night feeders and feed on cephalopods, small fish and crustaceans and on animal refuse that floats on the sea.

14 June 2014

Songbirds of USA

From left to right :  
1sr roll : Baltimore Oriole (橙腹擬黃鸝) ; Painted Bunting (麗色彩鵐)   
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (玫胸白斑翅雀) 
2nd roll : Western Tanager (黃腹麗唐納雀) ; Scarlet Tanager (猩紅麗唐納雀)
Western Meadowlark (西草地鷚) 
3rd roll : White-throated Sparrow (白喉帶鵐)
American Goldfinch (美洲金翅雀)  
USA (2014) 
5th April, 2014. Dallas, Taxes
Between 4,000 and 4,500 different types of songbirds can be found around the planet, accounting for nearly half of all bird species. Songbirds are identified by their highly developed vocal organs. Some songbirds, like the crow, have harsh voices, others sing rarely or not at all. All songbirds are classified as perching birds. With three toes pointing forward and one pointing backwards, they can grip branches and grasses with ease. Why do songbirds make such a glorious sound every morning? In a word, love. Males sing to attract females and to warn rivals to keep out of their territory.

17 May 2014

Common Kingfisher

Estonia (2014) 
20th March, 2014. Tallinn

Due to its extraordinary colours the Common Kingfisher is called the Nordic jewel and the pearl of rivers. Both the kingfisher’s plumage, as well as the shape of its body, are unique. It nests on the banks of rivers, brooks and bigger ditches lined with trees and rivers, the banks of which offer opportunities for digging its nest. The kingfisher particularly likes shallow rivers with pure water. It mainly feeds on small fish. We can expect to see the kingfisher round the year, but only a few remain here for the winter. The Estonian Ornithological Society picks the bird of the year since 1995. More information about the Common Kingfisher can be found in the internet, where it has numerous sites.

3 May 2014

100 years Swiss National Park

Golden Eagle (金雕)
Switzerland (2014)
6th March, 2014. Zernez

100 years ago, the Swiss National Park (SNP) was established by a group of visionaries, laying the foundations for a unique, natural oasis. Today, their original idea – namely leaving natural processes untouched and documenting the many and varied changes – is more relevant than ever. To mark its centenary, the National Park is offering its visitors a varied programme of centenary events.
In its centenary year, the SNP is staging a varied programme of events. It has chosen 27 March 2014 for the national launch – 100 years to the day since the Swiss parliament voted to esta- blish the park. On 1 August 2014, Swiss television channel SRF will be broadcasting the main celebration live from Zernez. From 11 July to 16 August, Zernez will also be hosting 16 performances for locals and visitors of the anniversary open-air spectacle “LAINA VIA – the phenomenal story of the Swiss National Park”. LAINA VIVA will bring drama, humour, romance, music and lots of movement to the stage and will be an unmissable spectacle! From March to October, the SNP is going on a nationwide tour to the 16 biggest Coop shopping centres, to present nature where it is least expected. The anniversary exhibition in the National Park Centre is dedicated to special gures from the SNP’s 100-year history. The centenary will also be marked by various publications, including the Atlas of the Swiss National Park.

5 April 2014

Antarctic food web

Adelie Penguin (阿德利企鵝)
Ross Dependency (2013)
14th February, 2014. Christchurch

This issue highlights one of the marvels of Antarctica: its ‘food web’, which enables a vast array of wildlife to find the sustenance they need to survive. The key to its success – and the element that enables every one of these animals to endure – is a tiny, delicately pink crustacean called krill.

The Adélie penguin – named in 1840 by French explorer Jules Dumont d’Urville after his wife, Adélie – is one of only two species found on the Antarctic mainland; the other is the much larger emperor penguin. Easily recognised with its blue-black back and white chest and belly, the Adélie is a highly efficient hunter, with flippers that enable it to dive to depths of 175 metres in search of food.

22 March 2014


Little Owl (縱紋腹小鴞)
Gibraltar (2013)
2nd November, 2013. Gibraltar

An overprint is an additional layer of text or graphics added to the face of a postage stamp, banknote or postal stationery after printed. Post offices most often use overprints for internal administrative purposes such as accounting but these have also been employed in the past for public mail. Gibraltar’s last overprinted stamp was released in 1991 when the 1987 Definitive Guns with the original value of £3 was overprinted with a £1.05 value. Due to the fact that new postal rates are being introduced in Gibraltar with the latest Christmas stamps, the Post Office required two additional values, a 14p and 28p.

Little Owl (縱紋腹小鴞)
Gibraltar (2013)
2nd November, 2013. Gibraltar

8 March 2014

Birds of the Alps

Rock Ptarmigan (岩雷鳥)
Italy (2013)
4th December, 2013. Feltre, Belluno

Capercaillie (松雞)
Italy (2013)
4th December, 2013. Spiazzo, Trentino

Thanks to my friend of this surprise, he sent me this cover on day of issue. After more than 18 years Italy Post Office released a set of birds again on last year, it looks beautiful, five stamps illustrated different species which mainly live in Alps, the northern part of Italy. The Alps divided Europe into two parts, southern Europe is mostly in warm and sunny weather, while rainy and cool in winter, thus there provides enough food and suitable to migratory birds for middle stop.

15 February 2014


Lesser Flamingo (小紅鸛)
São Tomé e Príncipe (2013)
30th May, 2013. Central
Greater Flamingo (大紅鶴)
São Tomé e Príncipe (2013)
30th May, 2013. Central

Two flamingo species are selected for this article, which issued by rare country São Tomé e Príncipe, the islands country located in Equator. Lesser Flamingo is a species of flamingo occurring in sub-Saharan Africa with another population in India. Birds are occasionally reported from further north, but these are generally considered vagrants. And another one, Greater Flamingo is the most widespread species of the flamingo family. It is found in parts of Africa, southern Asia (coastal regions of Pakistan and India), and southern Europe.

Although São Tomé e Príncipe is far away from Africa mainland, two flamingos still to be found in there.

8 February 2014

Owls of Togo

Verreaux's Eagle-Owl (乳黃鵰鴞) ; Pel's Fishing-Owl (橫斑漁鴞)
Togo (2010)

25th November, 2013. Pagouda

African Wood-Owl (非洲林鴞)
Togo (2010)
25th November, 2013. Pagouda

Here are three cards returned from Togo Philatelic Office, thanks to their coordinate for the postmark, although they are not match the common rules of FIP. Pagouda is a town nearby Benin, the forest in this area commonly to be found variety owls, above are three of them. is a large species of owl in the Strigidae family. It feeds nocturnally on fish and frogs snatched from the surface of lakes and rivers. The species prefers slow moving rivers with large overhanging trees to roost and forage from. African Wood-Owl is a medium-sized owl with dark eyes and no ear tufts. It is 30 to 36 cm long and weighs from 240 to 350 grams. It lives in Africa from Senegambia to Sudan and south to Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, and on the east coast to South Africa. It lives mainly in forest and woodland though it sometimes inhabits plantations. Verreaux's Eagle-Owl is the largest African owl. This owl is the world's third heaviest living owl, after the Blakiston's Fish Owl and Eurasian Eagle-Owl and the fourth longest owl, after additionally the Great Gray Owl.

30 January 2014

Christmas robin 2013

European Robin (知更鳥)
Isle of Man (2013)
17th October, 2007. Douglas (First day special postmark)

European Robin (知更鳥)
Ireland (2013)
7th November, 2007. Dublin (First day special postmark)

After a month of rest, here is new article renew the blog this year, the first article on 2014. I selected two cards which related to Christmas, as before, Robin is the hottest item to Christmas theme, do you need review again last issue, here it is.