The rains continue in a steady drizzle all day, with a great torrent in the afternoon. The deluge tapers off after dinner and I'm stir crazy. I don my cagoule and headlamp and wander off down past the mist nets, left open tonite for night birds...
This is no night bird - it probably flew into the net on the last of the light and has been tangled and rained on since. Poor thing. A big bird, this, and wet and scraggly looking. It can come with me. My pocket is dry and warm. I slip it into the front cagoule pouch and feel its weight on my stomach.
I have a companion for my walk.
Stumbling, I slip-slide along a very muddy path, but I'm careful of the cargo I have stashed in my hold. Up hill, down hill... I see an armadillo bug and check on the hole it was digging. Then I check on my bird. Still wet. Still cold. She needs to get warm and dry or she might not make it.
With great tenderness and some trepidation, I slip the bird under my shirt. It rides comfortably on my bra, listening to my heart boom boom. It should be warmer, and better protected from the bushes and ferns I brush through.
Headlamp off to look at the woods at night. Fungus glows in the dark - ooooo.
The bird is getting restless. It moves and pushes and scratches against my chest. A good sign. Time to turn around anyway. We make our way back. Its so dark now that this bird would get lost if I let it go, so I put her in a head net until morning.
A glorious morning of sun follows. I let the bird go with first light. When the predictable 1:30 rain starts, I roll up the mist nets and collect the tangled birds before they get too wet. I stick them in every available pocket, the smallest and wettest in my bra. Six altogether.
Manakins are fearless after I've measured and banded them. One is sitting on my shoulder right now.