|Southwest Minnesota Birding - Lincoln County|
Another gem of the remnant landscape is Hole-in-the-Mountain Park in the city of Lake Benton. This City Park nestled in the coulee of a small creek is covered with age-old ash, oak, and elm.
DIRECTIONS: West of the town of Lake Benton on US Highway 14
The trails can be extremely muddy after a rain, but don't let that stop you - this park is worth the extra mud. Passerines are the prize in spring and fall as this may be the most likely place in Lincoln County to get your limit of warblers, thrushes, orioles, and flycatchers. Black-throated Green, Blue-winged, Connecticut, and Bay-breasted have been seen here in recent years as have both Summer and Scarlet Tanager, and Northern Cardinal. Least Flycatchers become annoying here, while Olive-sided and Alder make infrequent migratory appearances. Wild Turkey is now a well-established permanent resident.
In the summer one can expect to locate Great-crested Flycatcher, Indigo Bunting, and maybe even a nesting pair of Cooper Hawks in the trees. Taking the trail to the upper prairie area give you the sense that you've just emerged from an enchanted land, and are back on the prairie with the Clay-colored, Field, and Grasshopper Sparrows, House Wrens, Tree Swallows, and Eastern Bluebirds.
In winter the trails are not maintained, but if little snow cover is present this is a great place to look for Northern Goshawk (1996) Long-eared Owl (1999) and Pileated Woodpecker. There is another section of this park to the north of US Highway 14. It is worth a drive to the top, however this area is a horse camp and does not have any walking trails.
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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.|