The Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis is a common bird of secondary and degraded forest. It is not uncommon to have it fly across the road you are driving on and then disappearing into the foilage. Its loud calls, a continuous series of booh can be heard in most places outside of the city areas. Even though it is a cuckoo, it is not a brood parasite. There are locals who believe that injured young birds are fed a variety of medicinal plants by their parents. The well-again birds when preserved in brandy and other medicinal plants produce a concoction said to be helpful with damaged bones and joints.
I find the Tiger Shrike Lanius tigrinus to be a lot more noisy at the end of the day than at other times. This is when you can hear its loud chattering, perhaps advertising its claim to the territory. On all the occasions that I have seen this bird, it has been solitary and has a preference for the lower canopy and shrubs. A scarce winter visitor.
I missed this bird when it came calling way back in 2009 on Manukan Island, off Kota Kinabalu. This time it was much more accommodating, making daily appearances at the football field near to Bohebukut village on Maratua Island during my visit there in November last year. We saw a group of 3 individuals feeding on the overgrown grass, including this photographed bird which was blinded on one eye. My lifer!
This is the third time I have seen this bird but would like to add that our bird records in Borneo leave a lot to be desired. I previously saw the Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla on Lankayan Island and Tiga Island, both off Sabah. On my recent trip to another island, Maratua Island off East Kalimantan, I got lucky with this photo of this lone bird. The literature says it breeds in North Eurasia so I am quite impressed that it got here.
Maratua Island, off the coast of East Kalimantan is better known for its diving and stingless jellyfish. For the more intrepid birder however, this is a very worthwhile destination. While the island has a short resident bird list, it has 2 new Bornean endemics, recently split from their mainland counterparts (Sheldon & Chua, 2013). The Maratua Bulbul above, split from the Black-headed Bulbul, is found throughout the island. The other bird is the Maratua Shama, already facing uncertainties due to trapping.