7 July 2012 – La Amistad
Having arrived early, we birded the road while waiting for the park to open and saw our first female Resplendent Quetzal! We didn’t find a male in the area, but the female was absolutely gorgeous and guidebooks cannot do justice to the colors of this bird. Soon enough the gates opened and we spent the whole day hiking in the park, up to the lookout on the cascada trail, as well as the entire retoño trail. Though it was definitely quieter than the Boquete side of the Los Quetzales trail had been, it was no less beautiful, and we reveled in the primary forest and the solitude we enjoyed on the trails. We were fortunate to watch a Wrenthrush as it nearly hopped across our shoes, and Long-tailed Silky Flycatcher, Large-footed Finch, Yellow-winged Vireo and Buffy Tufted-cheek were really nice additions as well! We again heard Three-wattled Bell-birds today and chased one of them for a while but didn’t manage to get terribly close.
After a bit of afternoon rain chased us downhill we went looking for some habitat to bird and found an unfortunately high traffic but promising looking rural road. It paid off, though, as we watched a Golden-olive Woodpecker in the roadside trees as traffic thundered past, finally had really good looks at Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush and found our first Cherrie’s Tanagers before heading back for dinner in Volcán.