Category Archives: Uncle Davey's Natural Selection

I love nature. This section contains everything that falls within that interest area.

Sunset with migrating starlings and the beginnings of a tornado


Original YT playout date: 16 January 2010
Duration: 5:49

This interesting sky was filmed on my drive home last year one November evening. The song is a composition of mine which doesn’t have words yet, but I am thinking about plum trees with white blossom on, seen across the plain of a river in spring flood. If anyone wants to turn that into a lyric, be my guest. After that we have a fairly random scene where Sophie starts to do one of her extemporaneous “stories” while we are waiting for our takeaway to be ready. I’m not sure that what you see in the sky is really the beginning of a tornado, but at first glance it sort of looked like one. Not sure how else something like that would be there just on its own like that …
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Кфтвщь Ыщтп Цшерщге Цщквыю


 

Original YT playout date: 29 July 2009
Duration: 2:360

Those of you familiar with the Russian keyboard will be able to work out what the heading says to this video. Let’s see who can decode it first in the comments.

I thought I had switched it back to English letters, and it wasn’t intentional, but then I thought it might be a bit of fun to leave it like that.

Anyway, here’s a bit more of the good old temporaneous music, mixed with footage for which I had no decent sound anyway. All very random…
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Teaching the Bengal Cat a taste for human blood


Original YT playout date: 27 December 2009
Duration: 2:24

They will play fight with Pushkin even when he’s not in the mood, and that’s when he shows them who’s boss…

Good for him, I say. Not an ounce of sympathy from me if a cat scratches you!
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Relaxing on the Terrace


Original YT playout date: 25 December 2009
Duration: 18:59

A bit more footage from the terrace, from back in September 2009. It looks very different now. Most of the plants here didn’t go forward, the peonies were effectively annuals. The lilac is still alive, but even the dogwood went in the end, though I did last a good few years. The yuccas are still with us, the tamarisk not, or the roses. I think the junipers mainly lasted, but not even all of them.
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Cat eating spider


Original YT playout date: 19 September 2009
Duration: 6:20

Have you ever seen a cat eating spider? Now’s your chance.

Don’t miss the cute pics at the end of my wife with her daubs of cream when recovering from chickenpox a couple of months back!

I’m afraid I screwed up on the exposure in the middle bit, but I left it in anyway as it shows part of the ongoing saga of my terrace…
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Terrace Update


Original YT playout date: 10 September 2009
Duration: 6:15

I took this footage a couple of months back and kinda overlooked playing it out, but here goes. Obviously some of the flower shots at the end are a joke – they’re not all on my terrace! The fence is creosoted now, which means it has the same colour as the patio boards.
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Marine Aquarium at Warsaw Airport


Original YT playout date: 16 July 2009
Duration: 2:32

Just another little fishkeeper video. This is in the Business Shark lounge airside in the new terminal.
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Not the Alan Titchmarsh Show – with Bot Shots


Original YT playout date: 11 July 2009
Duration: 10:21

A rather interrupted look at my garden. I lost some of the stills I took for the end bit so I made them up with other bot (anical) shots I made earlier. The song is “Vecher na reyde”.
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A drive along the Vistula reservoir


Original YT playout date: 13 May 2009
Duration: 36:27

Between Wloclawek and Plock the Vistula broadens. We ride the road you can see on the map to the south of this lake. I keep up the usual running commentary.
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Scenes from Domestic Life


Original YT playout date: 2 May 2009
Duration: 8:24

Some images from the balcony before the plants start to recover from the winter.
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Office Aquarium


Original YT playout date: 16 April 2009
Duration: 6:08

A little look at my fishes, the collection as per 2009, that is. None of these are with me now in 2020, although I do have some that are 7 years old or so. The offspring of the Ancistrus might be still in the tank, but I took Ancistrus at different times so it is hard to say on that one. You’ll recognise some if not all of them from earlier videos.
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The truth about the Corvid-19 and what you need to know – part 8. The cheepy treepies


Since it appears that the pandemic is taking a long time to settle it has taken some of the urgency out of getting through the Corvid-19 series. In fact if I do it too fast I might have to make up the time with a Cervid-19 series and I am far from sure I can find things to talk about for 19 of the Cervidae. It is proving a challenge even for the Corvids and there are about 45 of those to select a representative 19 from.

This time we see a more exotic corvid which most Europeans or American readers won’t know at all, while given the fact it is not at all rare in South Asia, my readers from India and the surrounding countries will be very familiar with this bird.

As usual the information is being put together in a table for so as to allow an easier summary at the end of the series. I am still thinking about publishing a fine “Corvid 19” wall chart in time for the end of the pandemic.

CC BY-SA 4.0 with thanks to author Charles J Sharpe of https://www.sharpphotography.co.uk

 

Common Name Rufous treepie
Other names Indian treepie. A local name in India is taka chor, or “coin thief”.
German Wanderbaumelster
French Témia vagabonde
Russian Индийская древесная сорока
Polish Srokówka jasnoskrzydła
Scientific Name Dendrocitta vagabunda
Number of species in the genus 7
Number of subspecies in this species 7
Literal meaning of Scientific name Wandering tree jay. An earlier species name “rufa” as well as the common name “rufous” refers to the cinnamon red coloration of the mantle.
Described by English ornithologist John Latham in 1790
First attested in literature Not known in earlier Western literature.
Wingspan (cm) 17
Length bill to tail (cm) 37
Distribution Most of southern Asia, from Afghanistan to Southern Thailand, with subspecies of slightly differing appearance appearing in different parts of the range.
Remarks A fairly common, small bird which is conspicuous both because of its handsome red white and black plumage and also its loud musical calls, with a broad vocal range. There are a number of diffferent Dendrocitta species or treepies, effectively a treepie is a tree magpie, as pie is the original name for a magpie (see the note on the common magpie earlier in the series).
Migrations The migrations are not wide-ranging despite the name of wanderer, as the bird likes to cache food stores.
Sexual dimorphism Barely noticeable
Close relatives Six other Dendrocitta members, of which the most similar is the grey treepie D. formosae from Taiwan.
Not close relatives thought to be close The Dendrocitta are one of four genera in the Crypsirininae, which means “hidden nostrils”, and the other genera also contain birds called treepies, including the ratchet-tailed treepie, the racket tailed treepie (two completely different birds from different genera, Temnurus and Crypsirina respectively) as well as the black magpie, which is a treepie despite its name. Magpies proper are not closely related.
Cultural significance All the treepies got their name from the fact that they stay in the trees almost all the time, rarely coming down to the ground to feed, and therefore known to humans more though the calls which they have and also the flashes of rufous plumage that can be seen, on the white and yellow and black of the handsome white bellied and collared treepies. They mainly eat the fruits and leaves of trees, some have a particular affinity for certain trees or are adapted to eat the fruit of trees poisonous to most other birds and mammals, such as Tricosanthes tricuspida. It is loved by palm farmers as a natural predator on the palm weevils Rhynchophorus among other arboreal insects.
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