|Southwest Minnesota Birding - Lyon County|
Garvin County Park is the heart of the Cottonwood River in Lyon County. Almost 1000 acres of riparian woodland nestled into the remnant prairie landscape offer deep valleys for species like Spotted Towhee. The only Lyon County Park, Garvin Park's habitat is similar to that of Camden State Park; a rich riparian area along the growing Cottonwood River.
DIRECTIONS: 2 miles North of the intersection of US Highways 14, and 59
Unlike Camden, Garvin Park has no appreciable upland prairie area (though a good wildlife management area exists south of the park) no lake, and fewer trails. However, also unlike Camden, Garvin Park has playground equipment for the children of birding parents, has fewer people scurrying along the trails, and has a small but enjoyable lookout tower (Merton's Lookout).
Garvin has warblers, tanagers, orioles, and buntings. Whip-poor-wills sing when springtime is nigh (and occasionally in the wee hours of the morning) and Least Flycatchers make your ears ring. (even into the summer?) Though fewer rarities are reported here than at Camden (due to less coverage) Spotted Towhee has been seen here more often than at Camden. A fallout of raptors in the fall can turn up Peregrine Falcon, Osprey, Broad-winged, Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks, and both Red-tailed and Swainson's Hawks have nested in or near the park.
Winter is a good time to search for the growing Wild Turkey population that is becoming wild thanks to a hunting season (they don't just walk up to you anymore) and both Long-eared and Screech Owls find refuge in the steep banks when the wind is bitter from the northwest. Garvin is one of the few consistent parks to see or hear the uncommon Northern Cardinal in this area, while the dense underbrush makes for suitable cover for the late fall sparrows. A pair of Spotted Towhee was observed July 4, 2005, though no nest site was able to be located.
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|Birding with your ears|
|Learn to see through the leaves and around buildings, to hidden birds like the magnolia warbler. A guide to bird songs on CD are a useful resource.|