Border birds

FLIGHT March 2010 – Volume 24 No. 3
Korea (North) 12.9.09 Birdpex 6. Sheet of 5 + label.

This splendid sheet advertising the major bird thematic event in Antwerp next month features three species of the family Rallidae that are new on stamps: 12w Swinhoe's Rail Coturnicops exquisitus, 90w Baillon's Crake Porzana pusilla, 270w Ruddy-breasted Crake Porzana fusca.

There is also a label in the bottom centre of the stamp block which features:
Great Gray Owl Strix nebulosa, Brown Wood-Owl Strix leptogrammica, Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major

There are also five other bird species shown in the sheet surrounds. Flying at top right are Red-crowned Crane Grus japonensis. In the lower surrounds, from left to right are: Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax (See inset, right), Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus, White Stork Ciconia ciconia, Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata. To crown the celebration of wildlife we also have deer, a squirrel and a tortoise in the lower surrounds.

Latvia 12.9.09 Flora, berries & mushrooms.

This Fieldfare Turdus pilaris shows in the centre top and bottom panels in the selvedge of the sheet of 10 @ 55s stamps featuring strawberries.

This Black Grouse Tetrao tetrix shows likewise in the sheet of 10 @ 60s stamps featuring fungi.

The sheets are shown at approximately half size.

Guinea-Bissau 2009 Penguins

Clockwise from top right we have:
Emperor Penguin, Aptenodytes forsteri
King Penguin, Aptenodytes patagonicus
(I think the front-facing chick is also a King Penguin)
Chinstrap Penguin, Pygoscelis antarctica
Rockhopper Penguin, Eudyptes chrysocome - as on stamp

Guinea-Bissau 2009 Birds of prey and their prey

This issue, and the following one featuring penguins, have been produced with a strange palette which includes lots of blue tones. Nevertheless, the inscribed scientific names are correct.

Clockwise from top right we have:
White-headed Vulture, Trigonoceps occipitalis - as on stamp
African Harrier-Hawk, Polyboroides typus
Black Kite, Milvus migrans
Osprey Pandion haliaetus

Malaysia - 2009 - Unique birds of Malaysia

The birds on the stamp are male and female Plain-pouched Hornbill, Aceros subruficollis. The bird in the surrounds is a male Wreathed Hornbill, Aceros undulatus.

The sheet could well be entered in a 'Spot the difference' puzzle, the distinctive feature being the presence or absence of slits on the yellow throat pouch.

This sheet was also subject to an error whereby the stamp lacked the country name and year - 'Malaysia 2009'.

Netherlands - 2009 - Beautiful Netherlands - Rosendaal

The five identical stamps featuring Helmeted Guineafowl, Numida meleagris are clear enough but what is that little bird in a bush in the bottom right-hand corner of the surrounds? It looks like a species of Tit but it's difficult to say which. It comes under the heading of 'Tjittjat', which I am guessing means something like chit-chat and may refer to a Dutch version of Twitter.

Surely somebody out there can explain this?


"Thank you Theo Tenniglo (from the Netherlands) for the following identification:

'2009 -beautiful Netherlands- is called tjiftjaf in dutch, after the noise it makes. In English it is called Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita).'

I really should have been able to work that out!"

St Thomas & Prince Is. (Sao Tome) 2009 Lighthouses and birds

This is one of those countries that produce reams of pretty sheets for collectors without much genuine postal use. However, we list all postal authorities' issues for the sake of completeness.

The sheet of five values to the left shows a sixth species in the surrounds - Mute Swan, Cygnus olor.

The miniature sheet below shows and identifies, correctly, five species in the surrounds in addition to the Atlantic Puffin on the stamp. Clockwise from the top right they are:
Bonaparte's Gull, Chroicocephalus philadelphia
Sabine's Gull, Xema sabini
Black-headed Gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus
Iceland Gull, Larus glaucoides
Arctic Tern, Sterna paradisaea

Sierra Leone - 2009 - Birds of Africa

Although the image shows rather too much lilac on the head and nape this border bird is clearly intended as Lilac-breasted Roller, Coracias caudata - as indicated

United States - 1.10.09 - Kelp forest

This is the 11th sheet in the 'Nature of America' series, which began in 1999. The kelp forest is off the central California coast.

In addition to the Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis shown on the top left 44c stamp (and in the surrounds to the right of it) and the Western Gull, Larus occidentalis shown in the top right 44c stamp, Three other species are depicted in the top strip. Unfortunately, it is difficult to be specific about them.

Floating on the sea to the right of the flying pelican there is what looks to be an immature large gull. It could be intended as a California Gull, Larus californicus.

In the top right-hand corner of the surrounds there is a flying tern and a row of three floating loons (divers).

Help with these identifications would be welcome.
Illustration: US Post

"The 3 birds swimming on the Kelp Forest Nature of America sheet are a species of cormorant - I'd guess at Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus)
Chris Gibbins"
Many thanks Chris. I will follow your suggestion and make the change in March 2011 FLIGHT.
Roger Chapman

Vanuatu - 25.11.09 - W.W.F.

As well as the featured Beach Thick-knee, Burhinus magnirostris, this sheet shows terns both on the stamps and surrounds of the composite design. Those on the stamps and some on the surrounds can be identified as Sooty Tern, Onychoprion fuscatus. But what of those typified by the white tern with a forked tail, black wingtips and nape shown flying ain the top left surrounds? The closest I can find in both appearance and range is Black-naped Tern, Sterna sumatrana, but that should have a black rather than a red bill.

Any other ideas?


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