Raúl, our naturalist guide from the previous day, pointed out a particularly melodic trill from the Clay-colored Robin. Based on the song, one would understandably expect to see a stunner of a bird especially since it is the national bird of Costa Rica, yet the species is quite true to its common name with dull, brownish coloring, but at least sporting a regal shape.
As Raúl explained, the robin became the national bird thanks to its talents as a barometer long before our current weather forecasts. The trill we were enjoying signaled rain and farmers of years gone by would use the song as a signal to sow seeds for the season's crops. Thanks to this helpful tendency, the Clay-colored Robin became a national symbol.
Based on the song we were enjoying, Raúl said rain would be arriving that afternoon, or perhaps the next day.
Some afternoon clouds did not bring precipitation and when I awoke the next morning -- again at 5! -- the sky was cloudy but there was no sign of overnight rain. By breakfast, blue skies reigned.
While more than happy on a personal level about the conditions, I was disappointed. Could it be that the robin was wrong?
We spent the early part of the day on another 5 hour hike to a waterfall, improving our Costa Rican birding skills, and finally setting our eyes upon the trophy bird of the region -- the Resplendent Quetzal (in our case, views of both the male and female)!
This spotting was made possible by a sweet Quebecois couple and their 16 month-old baby enjoying a hike. During our chat, we learned that their hike -- only about a mile from the Lodge -- on the previous afternoon was cut short by rain.
Ah, the climate of the mountains. Bottom line: the Robin was right.
Bird list for the day:
Chestnut-capped Brush Finch
Black-throated Green Warbler
Gray-breasted Wood Wren
Gray-tailed Mountain Gem