Collecting Complexity


Within the Flight magazine, there is a fairly regular series, ‘Collecting Complexity’, featuring in-depth analysis by our Secretary Mel West, of the more complex bird stamp sets. Specialist Articles features some of these, and other offerings, for your perusal.


Australian KGV sideface definitives are highly collectable. Always interesting and colourful, some occasionally hard-to-source, these stamps are the most researched of Australian stamps.

A Collecting Complexity article from Flight … Mob RuleThe Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) is a flightless bird and after the Ostrich, is the second largest of this type in height.

It is endemic to Australia, and, according to my ancient but dependable Slater/Rigby field guide (Volume One), widespread on the mainland in nonurban areas such as open grassland and shrub land, but no longer found in Tasmania … read more

The Dissolute Fowl …. “Even if you have little inclination to comprehend the myriad of variations in the King George V ‘Heads’ or ‘Sideface’ issues of Australia between 1913 and 1936, as analysed so ably by Mel West in the September 2019 edition of “Flight”, it is noticeable that the design of one stamp sticks out from the rest, the penny red engraved issue of 1913, the very first in the series ……. Read the full article


A fabulous series of bird stamps designed by Killian Mullarney, and beginning in 1997.  Mel has written a trio of articles below. Having read these, there shouldn’t be much you don’t know about these beautiful little stamps!


“I think there should be a health warning if you want to collect these. They will drive you

I certainly had one dealer look at me as if I was bonkers when I said I collect these. Mainly small stamps, most just 22x25mm, often with a light blue squiggly security bar and with a rectangular or circular vignette background.” Intrigued? then read the full article


“Here’s something different. Just one bird and despite several incarnations, essentially the same design.

No, not the New Guinea issues. Same period, but wrong continent. We are off to South America and the rolling plains of Uruguay. Think corned beef, but wings.” ….. Read more


A number of articles here, the first two Quandary  articles are standalone but, they effectively act as an introduction to Guatemalan Quetzal issues.

In addition, the first Quintessential article goes further and builds on something first explored in one of the other articles.

A Quandary of Quetzals – Part One – What a lovely bird. The picture doesn’t do it full justice for as well as its glowing plumage, its tail is longer than its body.

The Resplendent Quetzal; resplendent because of that greeny gold iridescence as well as its other rich red, black and white plumage.

The Quintessential Quetzal Series – a series of 6 articles on this fascinating bird and associated stamps

Bringing Bird Stamp Collectors Together