And rain, as it turned out. No sooner had I switched off my headlamp then a downpour ripped out of nowhere. I huddled on my high perch under an umbrella and watched the sodden sunrise (and a Paradise Tanager) for half an hour before giving up. Umbrella in one hand, I grabbed my pack to climb down.
I raced down 118 steps of scaffolding and searched the ground for a few minutes before discovering my camera lens a few inches from one of the tower’s concrete support pads, lens cap about 10 feet away. I expected it to be smashed to smithereens but the lens was incredibly intact for a high-tech meteorite. The glass wasn’t even scratched; it must have landed in a patch of mud or bounced through some leaves on the way down. Amazingly, it survived a fall that probably would have killed me.
I spent the rest of the day birding and found some goodies: Blue-and-yellow, Scarlet, and Red-and-green Macaws; a Long-billed Woodcreeper; and a pair of Slender-footed Tyrannulets building a nest. Oh, and I saw my 2,000th life bird this week – a Yellow-billed Nunbird. Makes it all worth it!