Border birds

FLIGHT September 2010 – Volume 25 No. 1
Guinea 2009 Owls - Miniature sheet

We have more of these poorly coloured ‘wallpaper’ sheets to contend with.

The owl on the 25,000f stamp is African Wood-Owl, Strix woodfordii.

The owl in the main frame of the surrounds (to the left) is Pel’s Fishing-Owl, Scotopelia peli. The owl in the bottom left-hand corner is again African Wood-Owl, Strix woodfordii.

Guinea 2009 Owls - Sheet of 6

The owls on the stamps are:

Barn Owl
Tyto alba
African Wood-Owl
Strix woodfordii
African Wood-Owl
Strix woodfordii
Strix woodfordii
Strix aluco
African Wood-Owl
Strix woodfordii
Barn Owl
Tyto alba

The three owls in the top surrounds are Barn Owl again. In the bottom surrounds there are Tawny Owl (left) and African Wood-Owl (right)

Guinea 2009 Parrots - Sheet of 6

The parrots on the stamps are:

Senegal Parrot
Poicephalus senegalus
Gray Parrot
Psittacus erithacus
Red-headed Lovebird
Agapornis pullarius
Rosy-faced Lovebird
Agapornis roseicollis
Meyer’s Parrot
Poicephalus meyeri
Gray Parrot
Psittacus erithacus

The parrots in the top surrounds are, from left to right: Red-headed & Rosy faced Lovebirds; Gray Parrot and Meyer’s Parrot. Gray Parrot occurs again in the bottom right-hand corner.

Guinea 2009 Parrots - Miniature sheet

The stamp carries yet another Gray Parrot. The large perched bird to the left of the surrounds is a Senegal Parrot.

There are only 20 or so African species of parrot yet I cannot match any of them reliably to the flying bird in the surrounds.

Are there any other thoughts about this?

Guinea-Bissau 2009 - Hunting dogs and birds

Sheet of 5 values + label

The flying birds in the surround are Ferruginous Duck, Aythya nyroca. The perched bird is Blue Duck, Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos - a New Zealand endemic species.

Miniature sheet

The flying birds at top centre are Ferruginous Duck, Aythya nyroca - the same group of three as appears on the sheet label. Flying at top right is Red-crested Pochard, Netta rufina. Perched at bottom left and flying above the spaniel’s head are Mandarin Duck, Aix galericulata.

Comoro Islands 2009 Owls - Sheet of 5 + label

This sheet contains three new Scops-Owl species on stamps, all endemic to the Comoro Islands:
Comoro Scops-Owl, Otus pauliani (top right).
Anjouan Scops-Owl, Otus capnodes (lower left).
Moheli Scops-Owl, Otus moheliensis (lower centre).
The Barn Owl that appears on the other two stamps is presumably the darker, spotted sub-Saharan African race Tyto alba affinis or rather hypermetra, found in the Comoros and now lumped with affinis.

Illustrations from 'Birds of Prey of Africa and its Islands' by Alan & Meg Kemp

But the main interest on this sheet is the bird illustrated on the label, which is inscribed Otus pauliani, the same species that appears on the stamp to its right. My first thought was that it might be a juvenile and I began to look through some reference books. I hit gold with the page opposite which clearly shows the derivation of the image on the label, albeit in reverse. The two Otus pauliani images on the stamp are also derived from this page - as are most of the other images in this issue. I wonder if permission was obtained.

A final twist comes with the inscription in the book against the image on the label which I thought might be a juvenile. It reads ‘ad. at night’!

Comoro Islands 2009 Owls - Miniature sheet

The stamp and the image in the surrounds immediately to the right of it show Anjouan Scops-Owl, Otus capnodes. The image at lower left is Moheli Scops-Owl, Otus moheliensis. The image at lower centre is new to the issue - Malagasy Scops-Owl, Otus rutilis. This is another lift from the Kemp guide. The three images at lower right are Barn Owl, Tyto alba.

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