Although the Spotted Barbtail (Premnoplex brunnescens) is said to be common throughout the country from 500 to 2300 m, I have not found it easy to locate in our area. Its preferred habitat of low, dark and damp places combined with its general dark-brown plumage makes it hard to pick out. The first impression is of a small wren and I may have passed off many sightings as wood-wrens.
Today’s bird moved into the sunlight at the base of a tree near the Rio Guayabito bridge just before the San Antonio road reaches Santa Cruz. This is a heavily travelled road, both by vehicles and pedestrians, and I was surprised to find this forest bird there. The thickly forested stream at nearby Las Truchas bar in San Antonio is where I have had best success in finding this species. It often accompanies mixed flocks but was quite alone on this occasion.