Review of my Manx Shearwater Stamps
France 4F50 issued in 1997 showing a Manx Shearwater Isle of Man 50p issued in 1973 showing a true Manx Shearwater Spain 100p issued in 1999 showing Manx Shearwater
France 4F50 issued in 1997 showing a Manx Shearwater Isle of Man 50p issued in 1973 showing a true Manx Shearwater Spain 100p issued in 1999 showing Manx Shearwater
My first "stamps" showing Manx Shearwater, Puffinus puffinus, were local issues from UK islands, Lundy and Canna.  In 1973, I was delighted that the Isle of Man should issue the first catalogued stamp showing the species named after the island.

It was a long time before the next Manx Shearwater arrived in my collection: France, 1997.  I assumed that this was showing a bird from the Atlantic coast of France, but today, I discovered that the National Park commemorated by this stamp, Port-Cros, is actually towards the eastern end of France's Mediterranean coastline.  Checking Eric Duffey's "National Parks and Reserves of Western Europe" (Macdonald, 1982), I found that the eastern race of the Manx Shearwater, P p yelkouan, breeds on the islands.  Since the elevation of these sub-species to full species, this stamp shows the Levantine Shearwater, Puffinus yelkouan. Incidentally, the site quoted for Port-Cros has a page Sur Terre where there is a link from "puffin cendré" (Calonectris diomedea) to a photograph of a shearwater's head. This is actually a photograph of Puffinus yelkouan with the caption "Puffin de Méditerranée".

Last year, Spain issued two stamps showing Endangered Spanish wildlife, featuring an Osprey, Pandion haliaetus, and a Shearwater.   According to Howard and Moore, this would be representing the race mauretanicus commonly known as the Balearic Shearwater.  Clements has recently recognised the split of the Mediterranean Shearwaters, which means that this Spanish bird is representing the Balearic Shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus).

Does anyone have any further views on this?

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Added 5th  November, 2000