1 July 2012 – La Mesa, Cerro Gaital
For our penultimate day in El Valle, we had a treat. First, we revisited the waterfall area and were treated to a solid half an hour of viewing a Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo in early dawn light, even getting some decent pictures considering the very low light. Next, we chose to invest some time chasing the Black-crowned Antpitta, which Danilo was kind enough to agree to. Danilo knew where to go looking and this time we were rewarded as a Black-crowned Antpitta came in and circled us and serenaded us for several minutes. Another one of our favorite birds and best experiences of the trip. Thank you Danilo! While the morning was not super busy after the Black-crowned Antpitta chase we did see a Green Thorntail which was a nice surprise.
An afternoon hike of Cerro Gaital was a bit wet in spots and very slow, but it didn’t bother us as it was quite beautiful, snaking our way through some very tranquil woods. Kathi managed to get barely good enough looks at the master skulker Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush, we tracked down our only Blue Seedeater of the trip, and we found a Gray-breasted Dove sitting on her nest.