It was mostly edgey second-growth stuff so I didn't have a lot of hope for an antbird, but after about half a mile I heard a Thicket Antpitta singing. Unlike at Arenal, it wasn't dug into utterly impenetrable vegetation, this jungle was merely dense. With a nice slope down from the trail I knew I couldn't get lost and I started creeping down, one step at a time. The bird was very difficult to locate and somewhat ventriloquial, I was having a lot of time judging how far it was. However, the vegetation seemed to thicken further in and I assumed the bird would probably be amidst it. I continued an extraordinarily slow approach; the only way I could have gone slower was if it could have shot back. At one point an Ant-tanager abruptly flew up with every apparent intention of landing on me, between the adrenaline of an oh-so-close antpitta and the non-zero possibility of encountering a venomous snake instead, I was so keyed up it felt like I jumped a foot. The feargasm doubled my heartrate for a few seconds for sure.
Suddenly the antpitta worked its way past, mostly concealed by the leaves and disappeared. I picked it up again a little further in and maneuvered with difficulty between leaves to get a mostly clear shot. It was hand-focus only; too dark and too much vegetation in the foreground for auto-focus to work, but I did end up with one manageable image.
After the Panama Streak-chest Antpitta, this made the 2nd visualized antpitta for the year, the only two in my life.
With some combination of relief and elation I made my way back to the family for an open-air breakfast.