A Bird in the Hand…

With four days of no mail, I’m wierdly beginning to suffer withdrawl!! This postcard is an official Postcrossing card which I got a wee while back, but I haven’t had a chance to find out more about it until now.

Nordseebad Insel Helgoland Basstopel am Lummenfelsen


Silke and her family visited the islands of Helgoland. It is in the North Sea, but it is German territory – after having previously belonged to Britain, and Denmark. It is the only part of Germany that is significantly offshore, taking about 3 hours to get there by ferry.  There are two islands in the group, with only the main island of Hauptinsel being permanently inhabited.

Helgoland has had a varied history, but now is mainly known as a tourist location. One important activity on the tourist schedule is bird watching as many species can be found here on the spectacular cliffs. Silke’s postcard shows the Basstolpel otherwise known as the Northern Gannet (Sula bassana). This is a migatory bird that breeds on both sides of the Atlantic, and can be found as far south as the Equator during the winter. Helgoland is one of its breeding spots. This website The Internet Bird Collection  has a great selection of video and photos of the Basstolpel . Well worth a look!

Gannet feed by diving into the water from quite a height to catch small fish. They may also be found scavenging around boats, or stealing from other birds. They range from close in to the shore to far out in the ocean for food. Gannets often partner for life and most commonly nest on island cliffs, and sometimes in steep, protected areas of the mainland. 

These gannets look very similar to the Australasian Gannets  we have nesting in New Zealand at Cape Kidnappers  in the Hawkes Bay. Some sources suggest that the two are not separate species, but just subspecies.  It is possible to do a tour  to view these  New Zealand gannets up close, which is something on my list of things to do the next time we are in the North Island!


10 responses to “A Bird in the Hand…

  1. I hear you on the no-mail scene. It’ll pick up after New Years.
    Huzzah on reaching 20 sent!!

  2. I hope you get some postcards, soooooon! Glad you enjoyed the videos over at Stupmpy’s blog!

  3. We love the postcard.. Can we chase that bird??
    Heeler’s love chase…

    Big Sloppy Kisses
    Gus, Louie and Callie

  4. LOL!! You will have to be cliff climbing dogs to chase these ones, guys!! And I KNOW Heelers are pretty clever….. but your Mom would be sad if you fell off the cliff…. stick with the sheep.

    Belly Rubs, Annie

  5. Hi Cyndi – good to see Stumpy’s pics on the calendar too!

  6. I’ve got swaps I’m expecting too, as well as possibly official Postcrossing cards, and an overdue Christmas card from Virginia. I guess the US mail at least may have been held up by the bad weather, as well as any European mail from the snowy areas. This Postcrossing is good for my patience!!! LOL


  7. Pretty birds! I hope you get some mail SOON! I can have 10 out at a time now 🙂

  8. Yea – I’m really hoping that tomorrow when the mail starts again will be a GREAT mail day!
    I think it will be quite a while yet before I’ve sent 100 postcards. How long did it take you?


  9. Pingback: Welcome to Annie’s Postcard Collection « Annie's Postcard Collection