10 January 2020
Guernsey Post has released a new set of sixteen definitive stamps depicting birds found on the island of Alderney.
This is the first set of Alderney definitive stamps that Guernsey’s philatelic bureau has released in more than a decade.
Despite the island’s small size, Alderney’s habitats include heathlands, woodlands, rich farmland, cliffs, dunes and offshore stacks – between them providing a rich variety of habitats for the island’s birds. Alderney’s west coast and Burhou Island have been designated a Ramsar site, recognising a wetland of worldwide importance.
The first three stamps feature the Dunnock, Robin, Goldfinch and Blue Tit (1p and 2p, 7p and 9p values), all well-known birds found across the British Isles. Next are birds of the marine heathland – Meadow Pipit (8p), as well as Alderney’s summer visitors Whinchat (4p), Black Redstart (3p) and Yellow Wagtail (6p).
The Turnstone and Ringed Plover (20p & 40p) are waders commonly spotted wintering in Alderney and feeding along the island’s shoreline, while the cliffs on the west and south coasts of the island, as well as the offshore stacks, provide breeding sites for species including the Shag (50p value). Another sight in winter is the shy Kingfisher (shown on the 5p stamp), sometimes spotted fishing in freshwater and coastal sites around Alderney.
Burhou, the tiny uninhabited rocky islet two miles northwest of Braye Harbour, is a sanctuary to eleven species of breeding birds, including colonies of Puffin (10p). Migratory birds, including birds of prey such as Kestrel, Barn Owl (£1 and £2) and Long-Eared Owl (£4) are often spotted at the Vau de Saou, a nature reserve on the island’s southern cliffs, managed by the Alderney Wildlife Trust.
Issue date: 21 January 2020
Designer: Bridget Yabsley
Printer: Southern Colour Print
Print process: Offset lithography
Stamp size: 30mm x 30mm
Perforations: 1.1 x 1.667
For more on the stamps of Guernsey and Alderney, visit the Guernsey Stamps website.