BIRDS - BLACK-THROATED LOON
My main collecting interest is definitives, but there are two exceptions, one of them being birds on stamps! For quite a while I've just been hoarding those but I have now finally decided on a format to mount them properly. I've got a couple of RSPB bird guides and with the help of those I will set up a collection of "Birds of Europe". The RSPB guides are full of useful and interesting information that will accompany any stamps on the pages. Another big help is this excellent bird website: http://www.bird-stamps.org/ It is absolutely brilliant, I think!
So anyway, I started off with the loons (divers), the first one being the black-throated loon (Gavia arctica). A remarkable bird with distinct white patches on its upperbody.
It is always nice to find stamps that show a bit more than "just" the bird. This Finnish stamp shows that their food exists mainly of fish.
I love this Russian stamp which shows the loon diving for its food. They often remain submerged for a minute or more.
The dives are often preceded by long periods of "snorkelling" to check out any fish in the water. This stamp also shows that loons are usually found either singly or in small parties.
This loon is usually found in north-eastern Europe during summer. In the winter it migrates southwards and in winter time it can be found on the Mediterranean coast and the coast of Western Europe. There are black-throated loons in northern Scotland as well during summer, and round the Scottish coast during winter, but they are scarce or local resident breeders (100-10,000 pairs) and winter visitors (100-10,000 birds) and I've never come across one (yet!).
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