It has taken me a long time to get reacquainted with the wonderful bird. After the Pitta granatina was split in 1996 (Lambert), I have been trying to see this bird which retained the common name of Garnet Pitta. Last year, during a visit to Kalimantan, my luck came up and spotted it in the lowland forest of the Sungai Wain Protected Forest near Balikpapan. Its behavior reminded me of its now northern Bornean cousin Pitta ussheri. Both are great looking jewels of the forest floor.
I simply adore the swallow-like flight of this wader. For the past weeks now, large numbers of this Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum have been seen in the rice fields of Tempasuk, north of Kota Kinabalu. They are supposed to be passage migrants but many of them are in breeding plumage. Breeding has been recorded here but it will be a first for me. I am not sure why they are waders as they always stay on dry areas. Large numbers congregate mid-morning to perform their aerial maneuvers much like raptors do. What a wonderful sight!
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.