Inspired to go check out a local park over lunch, I fired up eBird.org to look for a local birding hotspot.

Denman Park popped up as a good place to go check out birds. Around 150 species have been spotted there over time, so I figured it must have some good trees and water for the local birds.

The entrance to Denman Park is on the appropriately-named Mockingbird Lane. The park is situated in the middle of a densely forested neighborhood and includes a pond, a Korean monument, and various wooded walking trails.

As soon as I got out of my car I heard the chattering of two House Finches up in the trees above me. I looked around for them but couldn’t spot them. This is why I’m glad their songs are so distinctive to me.

The day was a beautiful 64 F with blue skies and puffy clouds. It was a nice day to be walking at the park.

I walked toward the pond trails and heard a few Blue Jays screaming overhead from the trees.

A dove’s silhouette

Approaching the water, I spotted a silhouette of what looked like a White-winged Dove, but upon closer inspection turned out to be an Inca Dove. This small brown dove has slightly more scaly-looking feathers and has beautiful reddish-orange feathers on its wings that can be seen when it flies.

Becky Matsubara

Not much was going on on the water of the pond with the exception of a few Mallards swimming around and some Egyptian Geese sitting on the shore.

I took to the first trail that flanked the pond and set down the path. The trees at this park were quite dense and the lighting wasn’t the best so I planned to listen for bird songs and watch for any shadows moving in the trees.

The tiniest of chirps

Not very far down the trail, I heard a very high-pitched bird song above me and quickly looked up to see a tiny bird jumping around in the branches. Unfortunately, I didn’t remember to bring my binoculars so it was up to my own eyes to try to see what was up there. After a few moments, the bird jumped into a slightly better viewing angle and I discovered I was hearing the song of a Carolina Chickadee.

Michael Mangold

Knock, knock, knock

Turning the bend of the trail I heard a knock, knock, knock to my left. Excited, as I’m sure you know what I’m about to see, I looked over and saw a beautiful male Ladder-backed Woodpecker. This black-and-white woodpecker has stripes covering its back and a red spot on the crown of its head.

Mick Thompson

Continuing on, I wrapped up the trail and heard a few Cardinals calling in the distance and some House Sparrows chirping sharply.

Let’s make it a tradition

Even just a few minutes during lunchtime can bring a chance to see many beautiful bird species if you wander over to your local park or bird hotspot.

This was such a great experience I plan to make a new lunchtime tradition out of it. It helps lift my spirits and enables me to contribute to eBird at the same time. I highly recommend it!