Maximaphily (Maxicards)
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12 December 2015

Penguin 2014
英屬南極領地企鵝

 
Emperor Penguin (皇帝企鵝)
British Antarctic Territory (2014)

19th November, 2014. Singy

Adelie Penguin (阿德利企鵝)
  British Antarctic Territory (2014)
19th November, 2014. Singy

Macaroni Penguin (馬可羅尼企鵝)
  British Antarctic Territory (2014)
19th November, 2014. Singy

Of the 17 different species of penguin the emperor and Adélie make the Antarctic continent their true home, whilst the chinstrap, gentoo and macaroni breed on the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, where conditions are less harsh. 

Penguins are the most common birds in the Antarctic with the total number of breeding pairs in the region estimated to be about 20 million. They were once thought to be the most primitive of birds. Members of Captain Scott’s famous expedition went on what they described as “the worst journey in the world” in the Antarctic winter to obtain an emperor penguin embryo to prove this point. But they were wrong — penguins are highly evolved to be able to live in the coldest of places.

Whilst penguins cannot fly they have evolved into the most efficient swimmers and divers of all birds. Some species spend 75% of their time at sea and one female emperor penguin was recorded at an astonishing depth of 535m.

As penguins are rarely seen underwater our main impression of them is confined to how they appear on land. With their legs set far back for efficient movement underwater, the penguins walk awkwardly in a very upright position. This is possibly the reason for their extraordinary appeal — they look like funny little people.

5 December 2015

Mute Swan
疣鼻天鵝

Mute Swan (疣鼻天鵝) 
Ireland (2015)
1st July, 2015. Dublin

An Post increased the standard domestic letter rate again from 68c to70 c on 2015. As the new rate effective on July 1, 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.

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.

28 November 2015

Singapore Botanic Gardens UNESCO World Heritage Site
新加坡植物園

Singapore Botanic Gardens (新加坡植物園)
Singapore (2015)
7th August, 2015. Singapore

Established in 1859, the Singapore Botanic Gardens played an important historical role in the introduction and promotion of many plants of economic value to Southeast Asia, including the Para rubber tree.

Over the years, the Gardens has continued to introduce and rejuvenate its horticultural attractions while continuing its mission of connecting plants and people.

Today, the 74-hectare Gardens is a key civic and community space, and an international tourist destination. Attracting an annual visitorship of more than 4.4 million, it is also an important institution for tropical botanical and horticultural research, education and conservation.

The Gardens showcases the best and most spectacular of tropical flora, including more than 10,000 types of plants and the region’s most significant living collection of documented palms, orchids, cycads and gingers. Its historic 19th century garden landscape is well preserved and includes the earliest ornamental designed lake in Singapore. Home to numerous heritage trees and a tract of primary rainforest, the Gardens is less than a 10-minute walk from the shopping belt in Orchard Road. The Gardens was inscribed as Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015.

14 November 2015

Iraqi birds
伊拉克雀鳥


European Robin (知更鳥)
Iraq (2015)
21st January, 2015. Iraq

 Common Kingfisher (普通翠鳥)
Iraq (2015)
21st January, 2015. Iraq

Tree Sparrow (麻雀)
Iraq (2015)
21st January, 2015. Iraq

European Goldfinch (紅額金翅雀)
Iraq (2015)
21st January, 2015. Iraq

Nature Iraq conducts scientific studies on biodiversity including birds, plants, mammals, and other taxa. In addition, through the laboratories and field staff of Blue Horizons, a private lab that Nature Iraq helped to establish, Nature Iraq has conducted sampling of water quality physical and chemical parameters and conducted sediment and bacterial analysis.

Also Nature Iraq has helped to build civil society networks to activate grassroots support for the protection of the environment, particularly the marshlands of southern Iraq and the watersheds of Kurdistan, northern Iraq. Further, Nature Iraq strives to build capacity within Iraq, both in government and in academia, to help restore and protect the environment.

7 November 2015

Indian Roller
棕胸佛法僧

Indian Roller (棕胸佛法僧)
Oman (2014)
7th July, 2015. Ruwi

Oman witnesses huge swarms of migratory birds during their seasonal journey between their nesting habitats and the places where they spend winters, especially those birds migrating from Europe and East Asia. Many birds, especially water fowl, migrate from faraway regions like northern Siberia, and travel about five thousand kilometres.

Visitors can see many species of birds in each of Oman’s different regions. Al Hikman Peninsula, Masirah Island, Al Wusta Governorate beaches, the Lagoons, the beaches and springs in Dhofar are ideal places for bird observation. Many of these species live in Dimaniyat Islands and in Musandam.

24 October 2015

Northern Shoveler
琵嘴鴨

Belgium (2015)
30th May, 2015. Monk

Northern Shoveler is unmistakable in the northern hemisphere due to its large spatulate bill. The breeding drake has an iridescent dark green head, white breast and chestnut belly and flanks. In flight, pale blue forewing feathers are revealed, separated from the green speculum by a white border. In early fall the male will have a white crescent on each side of the face. In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake resembles the female.

The female is a drab mottled brown like other dabblers, with plumage much like a female mallard, but easily distinguished by the long broad bill, which is gray tinged with orange on cutting edge and lower mandible. The female's forewing is gray.

They are 48 cm long and have a wingspan of 76 cm (30 in) with a weight of 600 g.

17 October 2015

Great Crested Grebe
鳳頭鷿鷈

Slovenia (2015)
7th July, 2015. Službeno, Maribor

Slovenia continuous its bird definitive series on 2015, five stamps are Great Crested Grebe, Stock Dove, Black Stork, Kentish Plover and White-winged Snowfinch. Great Crested Grebe is the largest member of the grebe family found in the Old World, with some larger species residing in the Americas. They measure 46–51 cm long with a 59–73 cm wingspan and weigh 0.9 to 1.5 kg. It is an excellent swimmer and diver, and pursues its fish prey underwater. The adults are unmistakable in summer with head and neck decorations. In winter, this is whiter than most grebes, with white above the eye, and a pink bill. Stock Dove is the largest within the pigeon family, and has the widest distribution. Its members are typically pale grey or brown, often with white head or neck markings or iridescent green or purple patches on the neck and breast. The neck feathers may be stiffened and aligned to form grooves, but these are absent in this species. The stock dove is less grey in plumage than other pigeons in Europe.

10 October 2015

Antarctic Tern
南極燕鷗

Antarctic Tern (南極燕鷗)
French Australia and Antarctica Territories (2015)
1st January, 2015. Dumont D’Urville

Antarctic Tern is a typical tern. It ranges throughout the southern oceans. It is very similar in appearance to the closely related Arctic tern, but is stockier, and the wing tips are grey instead of blackish in flight. It is, of course, in breeding plumage in the southern summer, when the Arctic tern has moulted to its non-breeding plumage.

Breeding takes place from mid-November to early December. Chicks hatch from December to February. Skuas and jaegers are the primary predators of this bird's eggs and young.

The total global population of this bird is around 140,000 individuals.

3 October 2015

110th anniversary of Naardermeer Nature Reserve
納爾登湖自然保護區

Great Crested Grebe (鳳頭鸊鷉)
The Netherlands (2015)
28th April, 2015. Naarden-Energiestraat

Naardermeer Nature Reserve was the first-ever natural area to be managed by the Dutch Nature Preservation Society, having been acquired as early as 1906. “More than a century on, visitors continue to enjoy the lake, swamp forests and surrounding fields every day and see what a sanctuary this unique reserve represents for plants and animals. I would imagine that the stamps will inspire many nature lovers to visit Naardermeer Nature Reserve and enjoy the beautiful scenery and all that it has to offer”, said Marc van den Tweel, Managing Director of Natuurmonumenten.

Naardermeer Nature Reserve is celebrating its 110th anniversary this year, and it remains a great source of pride to many people in the Netherlands

26 September 2015

Ruddy Turnstone
翻石鷸

Vanuatu (2012)8th October, 2013. Port Vila

Ruddy Turnstone is a small wading bird, one of two species of turnstone in the genus Arenaria. It is now classified in the sandpiper family Scolopacidae but was formerly sometimes placed in the plover family Charadriidae. It is a highly migratory bird, breeding in northern parts of Eurasia and North America and flying south to winter on coastlines almost worldwide. It is the only species of turnstone in much of its range and is often known simply as turnstone.

It is a fairly small and stocky bird, 22–24 cm (8.7–9.4 in) long with a wingspan of 50–57 cm (20–22 in) and a weight of 85–150 g (3.0–5.3 oz). The dark, wedge-shaped bill is 2–2.5 cm (0.79–0.98 in) long and slightly upturned. The legs are fairly short at 3.5 cm (1.4 in) and are bright orange.

At all seasons, the plumage is dominated by a harlequin-like pattern of black and white. Breeding birds have reddish-brown upper parts with black markings. The head is mainly white with black streaks on the crown and a black pattern on the face. The breast is mainly black apart from a white patch on the sides. The rest of the underparts are white. In flight it reveals a white wingbar, white patch near the base of the wing and white lower back, rump and tail with dark bands on the uppertail-coverts and near the tip of the tail. The female is slightly duller than the male and has a browner head with more streaking.

19 September 2015

Black-crowned Night Heron
夜鷺

Black-crowned Night Heron (夜鷺)Malaysia (2015)
25th June, 2015. Kuala Selangor

Black-crowned Night Herons are small stocky, short-legged compared to other herons. They are handsomely attired in a tri-colour plumage of black, grey and white, with two long plumes on the nape. Night Herons are very aggressive and steal eggs and young of other heron colonies.

Black Crowned Night Herons eat a wide range of prey from aquatic invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles to land invertebrates including small mammals. Prey is shaken vigorously until stunned or killed and then juggled about in the beak and swallowed head first.

The Striated Heron also known as mangrove heron, little heron or green-backed heron, is a small heron. Striated herons are mostly non-migratory and noted for some interesting behavioral traits. Little herons are often encountered at Sungei Buloh Nature Park, hunched into a compact egg-shape on a branch over the water, motionless but intently looking out for prey. Little herons use a wide variety of hunting techniques, but usually hunt from cover and rarely forage on the open mudflats.

The grey heron is a wading bird of the heron family Ardeidae, native throughout temperate Europe and Asia and also parts of Africa. It is a large bird, standing up to 100 cm tall and measuring 84–102 cm long with a 155–195 cm wingspan. Grey Herons have long necks and powerful bills for a long and strong reach. They usually wait on the mud or at the water’s edge to snatch passing aquatic prey. They can stand motionless for hours.

5 September 2015

Macao wetlands
澳門濕地

Black-faced Spoonbill (黑面琵鷺)
Macao (2015)
5th May, 2015. Macao

Black-faced Spoonbill (黑面琵鷺)
Macao (2015)
5th May, 2015. Seac Pai Van

Wetlands, known as the “Kidneys of the Earth”, together with forests and oceans, comprise the three paramount ecosystems of the Earth. This May, to demonstrate China’s achievement in wetland conservation and its pioneering experience in the development of wetland protection, China Central Television (CCTV) kicked off a major charity programme – “Beautiful China – Tour of Wetlands” and launched an internet poll in late September. A combination of the online votes and the organising committee’s evaluation selected Macao’s wetland as one of China’s Top Ten Charming Wetlands.

Amid rapid economic development and continuing population growth, China’s wetlands face many problems such as declining biodiversity and decreased nationwide wetland area, etc. This programme aims to discover and exchange experiences on wetland conservation, and also hopes to awaken people’s awareness of conservation of the natural environment and the need to safeguard the healthy growth of wetlands. The programme started in May and included an opening ceremony, a documentary show, an internet poll and an award ceremony, etc. Across the entire network it is recorded more than 230 million people voted online, with the Macao wetland receiving more than one million votes. In combination with the evaluation by the organising committee, leaders from the State Forestry Administration, experts and scholars based on the rarity of prominent species and benefits from conservation, Macao was successfully included in the list of China’s Top Ten Charming Wetlands.

29 August 2015

Tranqueras
特蘭克拉斯

Greater Rhea (美洲鴕鳥)
Uruguay (2014)

22nd July, 2014. Tranqueras

Tranqueras is a city in the Rivera Department of northeastern Uruguay.

During the first decades of the 19th century the area was known as Paso de Tranqueras because of the homonymous bridge over the Tacuarembó Grande river. In 1890 the French Marcos Bourré donated to the state some land for the construction of a railway station. The arrival of the railway became the birth point of a village which grew rapidly with hotels, stores and small industry.

Red Knot (紅腹濱鷸)
Uruguay (2013)

22nd July, 2013. Montevideo

22 August 2015

Inaccessible Island Finch
伊納克塞瑟布爾島雀

Tristan da Cunha (2014)
18th June, 2014. Tristan da Cunha
Tristan’s finches traditionally were called buntings. The Gough Finch Rowettia goughhensis, was named after John Quiller Rowett, the sponsor of Shackleton’s last expedition, which called at Gough in mid-1922 after Shackleton’s death. Unfortunately, Gough Finches are now scarce on Gough Island, being largely confined to sheer coastal cliffs and high mountainous areas where they find some refuge from introduced House Mice. The mice prey on the finch’s chicks (and those of many seabird species), resulting in the finch being listed as Critically Endangered. Tristan’s finches are equally prone to introduced predators. They once occurred at all three islands in the Tristan group, but died out on Tristan within 50 years of the island’s colonization in 1810. Fortunately, Inaccessible and Nightingale Island lack introduced mammals, and so still support healthy populations of finches.

8 August 2015

Our ecosystem
同心護生態

 
Black-faced Spoonbill (黑面琵鷺) 
Taiwan (2015)
25th April, 2015. Taipei
 
Black-winged Stilt (黑翅長腳鷸) 
Taiwan (2015)
25th April, 2015. Taipei

Zengwen River estuary wetlands sit by the mouth of the river, where the waters empty into the sea. The abundance of nutritive salts brought from the upstream area has made the wetlands a habitat for a diversity of wildlife. The most notable species of all is the black-faced spoonbills. Their long, flat bills bear a striking resemblance to pipa, a traditional Chinese musical instrument. They winter here in the wetlands every October.

Sicao wetlands sit at the convergence point of Zengwen River, Luermen River, Yanshui River and Jianan Canal. Large quantities of silt from the upstream area amassed over the years have formed a large plot of tidal land in the Taijiang Inland Sea. The area, with its plentiful food resource, has attracted an impressive array of sandpipers and plovers. The very leggy black-winged stilts are also the frequent faces here. Within the wetlands is a green tunnel, shade on both sides by mangrove trees, and the view is picture-perfect.

27 June 2015

Norway birds I
挪威雀鳥(一)

European Crested Tit (鳳頭山雀)
Norway (2015)

20th January, 2015. Oslo

Here is the 600th post in this blog.

The Eurasian Blue Tit is found all over the country right up to Narvik in the north. The population is increasing; different sources estimate the number of blue tits in Norway at between 50,000 and 100,000 pairs. The blue tit is most content in ancient deciduous forest, preferably with tall trees. Here it is easier to find holes in trunks, where they build nests from moss and other soft materials. If you set up a bird box in a deciduous forest, the blue tit is one of the first to come and seek shelter, often competing with the flycatcher. The blue tit lays eggs in April/May and broods for fourteen days. After a further three weeks the young take their first flight from the nest. This playful and colourful bird stands out from the great tit as it has more blue colour on its wings, crown and tail. The blue tit is a non-migratory bird that generally also stays in Norway for the winter. It does not hoard a winter store of food, so it is a regular guest at bird tables and other feeding places.

The easily recognisable feathered crest on its head makes it straightforward to distinguish the crested tit from the other tits. The crested tit breeds in coniferous forest areas as far up as the southern part of Namdalen. It is most at home in ancient pine forest or mixed deciduous forest. It is most probably the availability of moss and lichen on the trees that makes it prefer these types of forest. As there is less food to be found there, the crested tit keeps away from newly planted areas. It never breeds in such places. The crested tit also like bird boxes and often breeds early in April, far earlier than the blue tit. It is estimated that between 50,000 and 200,000 pairs of crested tits breed in Norway, but the population varies from year to year. According to ornithologist Kjell-Ove Hauge, forestry affects living conditions for the crested tit.

Blue Tit (藍山雀)
Norway (2015)

20th January, 2015. Oslo

20 June 2015

American Redstart
橙尾鴝鶯

American Redstart (橙尾鴝鶯)
St Pierre et Miquelon (2015)

10th March, 2015. St Pierre

The American redstart is a smallish warbler. It measures 11 to 14 cm in total length and has a wingspan of 16 to 23 cm. Its length is boosted by a relatively long tail and it is one of the lightest birds in its family. Weight is considerably less in winter than in summer. Males weigh an average of 8.6 g in summer but drop to 7.2 g in winter, while females drop even more from an average of 8.7 g to an average of 6.9 g. Among standard measurements, the wing chord is 5.5 to 6.9 cm, the tail is 4.9 to 5.8 cm, the bill is 0.7 to 0.9 cm and the tarsus is 1.5 to 1.9 cm. The breeding males are unmistakable, jet black above apart from large orange-red patches on their wings and tails. Their breast sides are also orange, with the rest of their underparts colored white. In their other plumages, American redstarts display green in their upperparts, along with black central tails and grey heads. The orange patches of the breeding males are replaced by yellow in the plumages of the females and young birds. Orange and yellow coloration is due to the presence of carotenoids; males possess the red carotenoid canthaxanthin and the yellow carotenoids canary xanthophyll A and B, all of which mix together to produce an orange colour, while the females possess only the yellow carotenoids. Recent research indicates that an age and sex effect on observed color attributes of hue, brightness, and saturation exists in American redstarts, with the exception for saturation, which only showed an age effect. Their song is a series of musical see notes. Their call is a soft chip.

6 June 2015

Roseate Tern
粉紅燕鷗

Hong-Kong (2006)
24th July, 2014. Hong-Kong

This is the third set of definitive stamps issued by Hongkong Post since the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, and the new set of Hong Kong definitive stamps, featuring the landscapes of Hong Kong Global Geopark of China, will be released on 24 July 2014. In parallel, the 2006 definitive stamps on birds, officially released on 31 December 2006, will continue to be on sale while stock lasts.

Roseate Tern is an uncommon to scarce summer visitor, breeding on rocky islets in offshore waters. It is an example of a bird which spends most of the time at sea, only coming to shore to lay eggs. At a distance, it appears mostly white apart from a black cap and a red bill. The tail is deeply forked. The breast and the belly are sometimes tinged red. Its flight is graceful, punctuated by plunges into the sea to catch fish.

23 May 2015

Northern Cardinal
北美紅雀

USA (2014)23rd October, 2014. New York

Northern Cardinal is one of three birds in the genus Cardinalis and is included in the family Cardinalidae, which is made up of passerine birds found in North and South America.

The northern cardinal was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus in his 18th-century work, Systema Naturae. It was initially included in the genus Loxia, which now contains only crossbills. In 1838, it was placed in the genus Cardinalis and given the scientific name Cardinalis virginianus, which means "Virginia cardinal". In 1918, the scientific name was changed to Richmondena cardinalis to honor Charles Wallace Richmond, an American ornithologist. In 1983, the scientific name was changed again to Cardinalis cardinalis and the common name was changed to "northern cardinal", to avoid confusion with the seven other species also termed cardinals.

The common name, as well as the scientific name, of the northern cardinal refers to the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church, who wear distinctive red robes and caps. The term "northern" in the common name refers to its range, as it is the northernmost cardinal species.

16 May 2015

Common Waxbill
橫斑梅花雀

Common Waxbill (橫斑梅花雀)
Cape Verde (2005)

14th January, 2015. Santa Marina

Common waxbill also known as the St Helena waxbill, is a small passerine bird belonging to the estrildid finch family. It is native to sub-Saharan Africa but has been introduced to many other regions of the world and now has an estimated global extent of occurrence of 10,000,000 km2. It is popular and easy to keep in captivity.

It is a small bird, 11 to 13 centimetres in length with a wingspan of 12 to 14 centimetres and a weight of 7 to 10 grams. It has a slender body with short rounded wings and a long graduated tail. The bright red bill of the adult is the colour of sealing wax giving the bird its name. The plumage is mostly grey-brown, finely barred with dark brown. There is a red stripe through the eye and the cheeks and throat are whitish. There is often a pinkish flush to the underparts and a reddish stripe along the centre of the belly depending on the subspecies. The rump is brown and the tail and vent are dark. Females are similar to the males but are paler with less red on the belly. Juveniles are duller with little or no red on the belly, fainter dark barring and a black bill.

18 April 2015

Wadden Sea National Park
瓦登海國家公園

Texel Sheep (特塞爾羊)
Denmark (2015)
2nd January, 2015. Copenhagen


Harbour Seal (港海豹)
Denmark (2015)

2nd January, 2015. Copenhagen

Wadden Sea National Park (Nationalpark Vadehavet) was named a Danish national park on 17 January 2008, starting from 2010. Since June 2014 it contributes the Danish part of the UNESCO’s World Heritage of the Wadden Sea. Prince Joachim of Denmark is Patron of the Wadden Sea Centre.

The Wadden Sea is one of the world's seas whose coastline has been most modified by humans,[3] via systems of dikes and causeways on the mainland and low lying coastal islands. The Wadden Sea stretches from Den Helder in the Netherlands in the southwest, past the great river estuaries of Germany to its northern boundary at Skallingen north of Esbjerg in Denmark along a total length of some 500 km and a total area of about 10,000 km². Within the Netherlands it is bounded from the IJsselmeer by the Afsluitdijk.

Black-tailed Godwit (黑尾塍鷸)
Denmark (2015)

2nd January, 2015. Copenhagen

4 April 2015

Russia-North Korea joint issue
俄朝聯合發行

Eurasian Sparrowhawk (北雀鷹)
Russia (2014)

12th October, 2014. Moscow

Western Osprey (魚鷹)
Russia (2014)

12th October, 2014. Moscow

Osprey is a large bird of prey birds of prey of the family unit Skopina. Spread all over the world except Antarctica and some oceanic islands. Live in areas where there are large clean ponds rich in fish. It feeds mainly on fish, which tracks down, flying high above the water. The current strength of the Osprey decreases it is listed in the Red Book. Russia has signed an agreement with Korea, India, Japan on Migratory Skopje and measures for their protection.

Sparrowhawk is a small bird of prey birds of prey of the family Accipitridae squad. Distributed from Western Europe and North Africa to the Far East and the Himalayas. Found in most parts of Russia, except treeless deserts, steppes and tundra. Preys mainly on small birds. Due to the use of pesticides in the middle of the 20th century. number Sparrowhawk reached historic lows, but since then its population grew again.

28 March 2015

Fauna and Flora of Armenia
亞美尼亞的動物

Eurasian Hoopoe (戴勝)
Armenia (2014)

23rd September, 2014. Yerevan

Hoopoe was classified in the clade Coraciiformes, which also includes kingfishers, bee-eaters, and rollers. A close relationship between the hoopoe and the woodhoopoes is also supported by the shared and unique nature of their stapes. In the Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy, the Hoopoe is separated from the Coraciiformes as a separate order, the Upupiformes. Some authorities place the woodhoopoes in the Upupiformes as well. Now the consenus is that both hoopoe and the wood hoopoes, along with the hornbills are placed in Bucerotiformes.

The fossil record of the hoopoes is very incomplete, with the earliest fossil coming from the Quaternary. The fossil record of their relatives is older, with fossil woodhoopoes dating back to the Miocene and those of an extinct related family, the Messelirrisoridae, dating from the Eocene.

Dianthus is a genus of about 300 species of flowering plants in the family Caryophyllaceae, native mainly to Europe and Asia, with a few species extending south to north Africa, and one species (D. repens) in arctic North America. Common names include carnation (D. caryophyllus), pink (D. plumarius and related species) and sweet william (D. barbatus).

The species are mostly herbaceous perennials, a few are annual or biennial, and some are low subshrubs with woody basal stems. The leaves are opposite, simple, mostly linear and often strongly glaucous grey-green to blue-green. The flowers have five petals, typically with a frilled or pinked margin, and are (in almost all species) pale to dark pink. One species, D. knappii, has yellow flowers with a purple centre. Some species, particularly the perennial pinks, are noted for their strong spicy fragrance.

21 March 2015

Penguins of Antarctica
南極企鵝

Adelie Penguin (阿德利企鵝)
Ross Dependency (2014)

19th November, 2014. Christchurch

Macaroni Penguin (馬可羅尼企鵝)
Ross Dependency (2014)

19th November, 2014. Christchurch

Emperor Penguin (皇帝企鵝)
Ross Dependency (2014)

19th November, 2014. Christchurch

Penguins are the most commonly found birds in Antarctica, and the Ross Dependency 2014 stamp issue features the five unique breeds of penguin that choose to call this cold, dry continent home.

Truly flightless birds, penguins have evolved traits that make them perfect for icy conditions such as those of Antarctica. While many different colonies of penguins live in Antarctica, the majority of the world’s penguins prefer to inhabit other cooler waters in the Southern Hemisphere. A layer of fat under their feathers keeps them warm and a white belly acts as a camouflage keeping them safe from predators when swimming under ice.

The unique round stamps in this issue depict the emperor, Adelie, macaroni, gentoo and chinstrap penguins in their natural habitats, and feature an over-gloss of a compass design.

14 February 2015

Margherita di Savoia
馬爾蓋里塔迪薩沃亞

Greater Flamingo (大紅鶴)
Italy (2014)

19th July, 2014. Margherita di Savoia

Margherita di Savoia is a town and comune in the Province of Barletta-Andria-Trani (Apulia, southern Italy). It was given this name in 1879 in honour of Queen Margherita of Savoy, who had an important love affair in the town; previously it had been known as Saline di Barletta.