Monday, March 2, 2015


A nice cover from Hong Kong through Cover Collectors Circuit Club. There are four stamps on the cover. One from a five stamp set "Lighthouses of Hong Kong"  (issued on December 29, 2010), one from the 16 stamp set "2006 Hong Kong Definitive Stamps" (issued on December 31, 2006) and one from the four stamp set "Children Stamps - Hong Kong in My Eyes" (issued on October 21, 2010).

Thanks to Mr. Wilson Yeung

"Children Stamps - Hong Kong in My Eyes" Special Stamps

Date of Issue: 21 October 2010

This set of special stamps features the winning pieces of the Children Stamp Design Competition 2009 – Hong Kong in My Eyes organised by Hongkong Post. The winning pieces are presented in a set of 4 stamps capturing the beauty of Victoria Harbour, a variety of local delicacies and the festivity of a dragon dance in colourful paint.

Hongkong Post has been holding design competitions to arouse greater interest and participation among children.  This set of special stamps based on winning entries of the "2009 Children Stamps Design Competition - Hong Kong in My Eyes" successfully married perspectives and aspirations of the younger generation with a harmonious blend of vibrant colours and childish candour, depicting our home town as a city filled with fun and joy.  To reflect its uniqueness and to enrich the fun for stamp collectors, a souvenir pack containing four matching puzzles is also available for sale.

"Lighthouses of Hong Kong" Special Stamps

Date of Issue: 29 December 2010

Set of five special stamps on the theme "Lighthouses of Hong Kong" released for sale on December 29.

Hong Kong's strategic geographical location has been a vital ingredient in its remarkable social progress and economic development over the past two centuries, allowing it to evolve from a "barren rock" into one of the most dynamic passenger, cargo and logistic services hubs in the world. Lighthouses contributed significantly to this growth by facilitating the safe passage of maritime traffic.

This set of stamps is inspired by five picturesque pre-war lighthouses - Cape D'Aguilar Lighthouse, Old Green Island Lighthouse, New Green Island Lighthouse, Tang Lung Chau Lighthouse and Waglan Lighthouse. All are declared monuments with unique architectural features and interesting historical backgrounds, serving the common mission of providing guidance for ships entering or leaving Hong Kong waters. Using clarity and realism as the main design theme, a combination of map and compass matched with latitudes and longitudes as a backdrop seeks to highlight the important role played by lighthouses in the city's maritime history.

2006 Hong Kong Definitive Stamps

Hong Kong is graced by more than 460 bird species despite its usual image as a city of crowded skyscrapers. This number amounts to one-third of that found in the whole of China and one-twentieth of the global total, which is truly amazing for an area of a mere 1,000 square kilometres.

This miracle has come about because Hong Kong is blessed with a diversity of natural habitats. This arises from its monsoon climate, its coastal as well as estuarine location, its curvaceous coastline and the unique juxtaposition of rivers, plains, hills and valleys within the territory. Thus one finds in Hong Kong rocky shores and islets, sandy beaches, mudflats, wetlands, fishponds, open fields, woodlands, shrubby hillsides and grassy hilltops. Practically any bird would find a niche for itself somewhere. That it is also a key staging post in the great East Asia bird migratory flyway is an added advantage which helps enrich its avifauna.

In parallel with the cosmopolitan character of the city itself, Hong Kong is equally kind to birds of all feathers, offering food and shelter and breeding ground to residents and seasonal visitors as well as migrants in transit. The 2006 Hong Kong Definitive Stamps portray a cross-section of the wide spectrum of birds which enliven the city with the colours and music of Nature.

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.

10¢: White-bellied Sea Eagle
An uncommon resident in coastal areas and offshore islands, it is a majestic eagle with distinctive grey and white adult plumage. Younger birds show different shades of brown but the base of the tail is always white. It feeds predominantly on fish, but also eats crustaceans, sea snakes and carrion. Occasionally it is seen flying within Victoria Harbour. Category I protected species in China.
20¢: Collared Scops Owl
A common and ubiquitous resident which can be found in practically any wooded habitat. It is a medium-sized owl which shows ear tufts when alarmed. At night, it is recognised by its soft “hoo-oo” call, which is repeated at about ten-second intervals. It breeds in tree holes and also nest boxes installed in country parks. Category II protected species in China.
50¢: Scarlet Minivet
A common resident of heavily-wooded areas, the majority being found in Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve. Numbers are increasing locally. Males are a stunning red, giving rise to its name in Chinese which refers to peppers flying in the forest. Females are yellow and greatly outnumber males in winter flocks. They are often encountered as small parties foraging for food among the trees.
$1: Common Kingfisher
An uncommon breeding species in summer, but common and widespread as a winter visitor and passage migrant. It is found in all wetland, riverine and coastal habitats. It is a small blue and rufous kingfisher, often seen perched on low branches and plunging into water to catch fish. Its rapid and low flight impresses people as a quick flash of blue. It nests in burrows in riverbanks.
$1.40: Fork-tailed Sunbird
A common breeding resident typically found in gardens and woodland with flowers. It is a tiny bird which is often mistaken for a hummingbird. The male has a brilliant metallic blue-green head and crimson throat and breast. Seeing the bird in the sun is always a memorable experience. The female is relatively plain but her long curved bill is distinctive. The nest is a ball of grass placed in trees.
$1.80: Roseate Tern
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.
$1.90: Black-faced Spoonbill
A globally endangered species. It is, however, a common winter visitor to Inner Deep Bay including the famous Mai Po reserve, which accommodates about 20% of the known world’s population. It is characterised by a distinctive spatulate bill and extensive black facial skin linking the eye to the bill. The crest and the breast are yellow in breeding plumage. It feeds by sideways sweeps of its bill in shallow water.
$2: Little Egret
An abundant resident which breeds in colonies. Big migratory flocks are also occasionally seen. It is entirely white with a slender black bill and distinctive yellow feet which are quite conspicuous in flight. It is found in any wetland and feeds by quietly stalking for prey in shallow water in fishponds and gei wais (shallow ponds specialising in the farming of shrimps). In recent years, an increasing number of this species are seen in Victoria Harbour.
$2.40: Greater Painted-snipe
A breeding resident in very small numbers, supplemented by winter visitors and passage migrants. The richly coloured plumage belongs to the female rather than the male, opposite to common wisdom. It reflects a reversal of roles, in which the male takes care of juvenile birds. It favours freshwater swamps, often with several birds in a small area.
$2.50: Barn Swallow
A common summer visitor as well as an abundant passage migrant. This is probably the most familiar bird species known to people around the world, both for its legendary migration and for its hard work in feeding its young. It is an agile flier and feeds on flying insects often low on the ground. The nest is built of mud, mixed with a little straw or grass and typically fixed under eaves. Seen as a sign of good luck, swallow nests are traditionally welcomed by the Chinese people and are generally left undisturbed.
$3: Red-whiskered Bulbul
An abundant breeding resident found in urban parks and quiet woodland. It is a delightful bird with an unmistakable upright black crest and a distinctive red patch on the cheek in a close view. Pairs are often seen close together on overhead wires. Outside the breeding season, large flocks occur. It feeds on insects, berries and fruit and can be seen catching prey on the wing. The song is a cheerful “bulbi-bulbit, bulbi-bulbit”.
$5: Long-tailed Shrike
A common breeding resident of the open country. It is a handsome bird with a strong hooked bill, thick black eye stripes and a long tail. It perches prominently, often on overhead wires, twitching its tail and making harsh rasping cries. It is a hunter preying on insects, small animals and even young birds. It is also known for the peculiar habit of keeping extra captured food items impaled on thorns.
$10: White Wagtail
A common winter visitor and passage migrant. A small number have also bred here in summer. It is an elegant, slender, long-tailed bird with a distinctive black, white and grey plumage. The tail is wagged constantly, thus its name. It has a distinctive bounding flight and typically utters a sharp “chissick” call at the low points. It is often seen pacing in a leisurely manner on the lawns of the bigger urban parks. It roosts in large numbers, sometimes on buildings, which can be a spectacular sight.
$13: Northern Shoveler
A common winter visitor to Deep Bay. It is one of the commonest ducks in Hong Kong, with numbers in the thousands. It is an open-water duck and takes food from the surface of shallow water. The broad spatulate bill, which is longer than the head, is visible from a distance and is diagnostic. The dark green head contrasting with a prominent white breast is another useful field mark for identification.
$20: Common Magpie
A common and widespread breeding resident. It is a large, long-tailed bird with a powerful bill. It has an obvious black and white plumage but in good sunlight, the black wings and tail also show a bluish purple tinge. It is found in open areas including the bigger urban parks and often feeds on the ground. The nest is a conspicuous structure placed high in trees or pylons. The bird is regarded as a bird of good omen and as a bringer of good luck in China.
$50: Dalmatian Pelican
A regular winter visitor to Deep Bay but in very small numbers. It is a huge bird comparable in size to a human. It is mostly white and has a characteristic gular pouch which is bright orange in breeding plumage. Its long broad wings enable it to fly buoyantly like a glider but it has to run clumsily into the wind before getting airborne. It is a globally threatened species and the birds seen in Hong Kong may comprise most of the East Asian wintering flock. Category II protected species in China.

Noted for its long spatulate bill, the Black-faced Spoonbill depicted in the large-sized first day cover is seen on water near its hub of activity - a wetland. The colours of subdued blue and green serve as a reminder of what Nature has in store under the blue sky.

Commonly found sailing between trees, the Scarlet Minivet featured in the small-sized first day cover stretches up to compete with the romantic lavender and pink, inviting lovers of flora, foliage, and birds to roam and explore the countryside.

Text courtesy of the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society, partly based on The Birds of Hong Kong and South China by Clive Viney, Karen Phillipps and Lam Chiu Ying (2005).

Stamp products include mint stamps, stamp sheets, souvenir sheets, presentation pack, prestige definitive stamps booklet, definitive stamp booklets, reel stamps, maximum cards and datestamped first day cover (available at the 39 philatelic offices on the issue day only).

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