Search for the Crimson Rook
What kind of bird did I see?
One day while in my backyard, I observed a rusty or roufous colored bird, it looked a lot like the size and shape of a crow, but the wrong color. I rushed inside to grab my camera. Upon returning, I had just enough time to watch this unknown bird fly away, displaying more rusty plumage.
I was intrigued. What kind of bird was that? Crows, rooks, ravens are almost entirely black. It was too large to be a cardinal, and the color was wrong, being neither brilliant red nor the muted browns that a female wears.
This bird to the left is about the closest in size and shape I could find, but completely the wrong color.
Unless otherwise noted, I took all the pictures on this page.
I decided to find my Red Rook
After unsuccessfully spotting my red rook for some weeks, I decided to bicycle to a nearby park and see if I could get a shot of him, plus take some interesting pictures, exercise, and enjoy the weather.
I first came across what I think is a Muscovy Duck.
He was waddling along with a friend, minding his own business.
Certainly not what I was looking for, so I continued to the park.
Near the entrance to the park...
I heard a screech sound and looked around.
I found the fellow to the right sitting near his nest, watching me intently. He looks like an osprey to me.
Too big, wrong color, and wrong kind. Osprey are birds of prey, with a sharp beak and talons.
I took a bit to do some geocaching
Geocaching is a kind of a treasure hunting game. People will hide waterproof boxes, mark down the GPS coordinates, and then post online where the geocaches are.
Geocachers will go to these coordinates and try to find the treasure, then return the container back for other to find.
Geocaching is a fun way to spend a day. Geocaches come in many shapes and sizes, and many different difficulties.
I didn't find the cache, but I did find this tortoise, resting in his home. I didn't want to bother him any further, so I left.
Okay, no Geocache, but I did find this cute cactus
There were tiny fiddler crabs along the bank
This colorful crab was nice enough to pose for me.
I came across a wooden tower
I've been to this park before, so I had a good idea of where I could find this tower.
I decided to climb to the top and take some landscape photos of the intercoastal waterways while I was there.
It is always a beautiful view from the top.
Picture Facing North West from the wooden tower
I continued on
I found evidence of a fire in the park. A few years ago, there was a fire that threatened my home here. Pasco County Fire came out and fought it for quite a while and saved all the homes, thankfully.
I hadn't realized that the fire had gotten this far.
You can see black charring near the base of the tree on the trunk, where it splintered and fell.
What caused this copse of trees to grow like this?
Being quite a few miles from home, and heard thunder.
In Florida, thunder means imminent rain, so I decided to leave. I was a good 20 minute bike ride from home, and couldn't chance ruining my phone, GPS receiver, nor camera (although I did end up getting sand in the barrel, seizing the camera barrel, ruining it)
It got progressively darker as I made my trek back, and raindrops were just starting to come down as I arrived home.
Still no luck, but...
The closest I could find online to the bird I saw is part of the "Tanager" group of birds, specifically the Hepatic Tanager.
It seems a bit small compared to my memory.
I am keeping a close eye out still, to attempt to spot my "crimson rook" again, and will make more trips to search it out.
Photo from: Snowmanradio