7/8 – Los Quetzales cabins
Rather than wait for the 8:30 tractor ride up the hill, we opted for an earlier start and hiked up to the cabins ourselves. It seemed a little slow and the rain threatened, but we saw some great birds, including Black-thighed Grosbeak, Purple-throated Mountain-gem, and Fiery-throated Hummingbird. Absolutely spectacular, though, was the arrival of a family of Resplendent Quetzals. The male flew in to within 10 meters or so, shockingly colored and truly amazing. The female perched behind us and a few minutes later odd noises led us to the discovery of their young perched in a nearby tree. Amid this commotion we again missed Golden-browed Chlorophonia and had good brief looks at a pair of Buffy Tufted-cheek again. We relaxed a bit in some mid-day sun at the cabins’ hummingbird feeders then hiked the Tres Cascadas trail in the afternoon.
The trail was steep, slippery, wet, adventurous, and thoroughly enjoyable! After a steep ascent up a primal, dripping wet hillside, we thought it interesting to find a flock of at least six Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher in the crown of one tree. In this area was also a quite vocal and seemingly close Three-wattled Bell-bird. We devoted a good bit of time again to neck craning, seeking vantage points and trying to figure out just where the loud clanks and rattles were actually coming from. It paid off, if only barely, for Kathi as she managed to briefly see the Three-wattled Bellbird as it flew away from the perch it had been singing at for so long! Continuing along the Tres Cascades trail we descended the even steeper and slicker backside of the hill we had just climbed to a gorgeous mountain creek which we proceed to cross at least five times via some precarious rock hopping and clutching the wires strung over the creek for balance. Thoroughly enjoyable! If we ever return to Cerro Punta, we will certainly stay at the Los Quetzales Cabins (number 8 or 9 to be near the feeders and near the Quetzal family) rather than at the somewhat disappointing Los Quetzales Lodge.
For a complete list of species seen, see our eBird report for Los Quetzales cabins