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Due to heavy reconstruction of this webpage, this blog is temporary suspended to renew in this summer, it will be updated again after late-autumn, thank you for your visits in these 9 years.

26 December 2015

Christmas

25c : Western Meadowlark (西草地鷚) ; $5,00 : Yellow-rumped Cacique (黃腰酋長鳥)
50c : American Yellow Warbler (
北美黃林鶯) ; $1,00 : American Goldfinch (美洲金翅雀)
$1,60 : Northern Mockingbird (
小嘲鶇)
Nevis (1996)
28th August, 2015. Charlestown, Nevis

Nevis, like most small Caribbean islands, has a wealth of events and festivals scattered throughout the year. The two main holidays on Nevis are Christmas and Easter. On Nevis people celebrate Christmas the day before, in Charlestown, until midnight, when everyone goes home to spend Christmas day with their families, and then everyone parties again on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas Day). Easter celebrations stretch from Good Friday, with kite contests, until Easter Monday, with beach parties).

19 December 2015

Penguins, Predators and Prey

Magellanic Penguin (麥哲倫企鵝) ; Falkland Skua (福克蘭賊鷗)
Falkland Islands (2015)
21st August, 2015. Stanley

Magellanic penguins are opportunistic feeders, taking roughly equal proportions of fish, squid and crustaceans. During chick-rearing, foraging trips take place on a daily basis during daylight hours. Birds generally hunt at depths of less than 50m, but may dive up to 100m. One of the more common prey species is the Falkland Sprat or Fuegian Sardine Sprattus fuegensis. This a small fish about 150mm in length which breeds in spring and early summer in the coastal shelf waters around the Falkland Islands and feeds on copepods, euphausiids, mysids, pelagic amphipods, chaetognaths, eggs and fish larvae. Large numbers appear close inshore during the summer making them ideal prey for penguins. The maximum recorded age is five years. The Falkland Sprat also lives along the Patagonian coast between 43° 30'N and 55° S.

Magellanic penguins encounter a number of predators at sea such as sea lions, leopard seals and orcas. They also face predation of chicks and eggs by avian predators such as caracaras, gulls and skuas although, by nesting in burrows, such predation is greatly reduced. The Falkland Skua is amongst the fastest and most skilled of all the flying birds. Add to that power and strength, high intelligence and longevity and the penguins have a formidable foe. Skuas are quick to spot any weak or infirm “Jackasses” and often attack them in mobs. Being without the claws and hooked beaks of hawks, skuas have to rely on each other to take hold of different parts of their prey in order to tear it apart. Falkland Skuas are entirely pelagic during the southern winter and come ashore in the Falklands only between October and April. The illustration shows part of their distinctive “courtship walk”. They nest in loose colonies, often close to their prey which, in addition to Magellanic Penguins, also includes other penguins and prions. They also specialize in harrying and forcing shags to re-gorge their food in flight over the ocean.

12 December 2015

Penguin 2014

From left to right :
Macaroni Penguin (馬可羅尼企鵝) ; Adelie Penguin (阿德利企鵝)
Chinstrap Penguin (南極企鵝) ; Gentoo Penguin (巴布亞企鵝)
Emperor Penguin (皇帝企鵝)
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.

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

5 December 2015

Extra definitive stamps of Ireland

Mute Swan (疣鼻天鵝) ;
Great Spotted Woodpecker (大斑啄木鳥)
 Ireland (2015)
1st September, 2015. Dublin

An Post increased the standard domestic letter rate again from 68c to 70c 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 are the maxicard and cover 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.

The Great Spotted Woodpecker can be found in both broadleaved and coniferous woodlands and forests and recently has been spotted in gardens and parks. They feed on seeds, invertebrates, and occasionally bird eggs and nestlings. During spring they can be heard ‘drumming’; a sound produced by rapidly pecking on a dead branch or other resonant object.

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