In a lot of forested Costa Rica, the bulk of the songbirds travel in mixed flocks in search of food and protection. It feels a lot like warblers in May in that regard. We took a walk after breakfast down a trail along a river in Arenal in the hopes of running into a decent flock but struck out with this. The birds came as individuals though, and while there wasn't great numbers there was good quality. A Scale-crested Pygmy-tyrant teased us, most of the group got only glimpses of it at the start of the trail. Before too long Steve got on a Spotted Antbird that he coaxed in for excellent views. It perched up in the gloom and sang a few times giving great looks. I was back to the old refrain of 1/60th of the second using the tripod as a monopod.
We heard some wrens and then a little pocket of activity held a Tawny-capped Euphonia. I confess when the bird was called out I confused it with just another Olive-backed Euphonia, a dull green bird whose female has a tawny forehead. It took me a few seconds to realize I needed to start looking for the bird, but it perched up nicely as luck would have it. I ended up seeing a few more later during lunch as well.
Warren spotted a fairly dug in female Orange-bellied Trogon (most of the red-bellied trogons I've seen in my life have been females for whatever reason) and then a Rufous Mourner perched up, a bird we'd seen more distantly at La Selva.
On the way back out we had glimpses of leaves reportedly moved by Tawny-faced Gnatwrens. Not many people actually got a view of the bird though. We walked back towards the lodge for breakfast (with Steven not arousing a lot of reaction for an apparently very rare and local (for Costa Rica) flock of Tree Swallows) passing through some landscaped areas on the way. Vervain was in flower here as well and attracted some nice hummers. A Black-crested Coquette perched up somewhat distantly.
We worked a few trees that had fruit, hoping for various tanagers. There were a few Dacnis about, as well as a Yellow-throated Euphonia and some Crested Guans again. At one point I looked up at a bird I didn't recognize, it looked like some giant female tanager.
With that the overcast turned to drizzle which turned to rain and we headed up for lunch.