Cottonwood Lakes Area

Lyon County
There's something almost magical about the Cottonwood Lakes area. Whether its the accumulated Karma from local birders, or the effect of a rich diversity in close proximity, these lakes turn up rare birds.

DIRECTIONS: Cottonwood Lake is at the City of Cottonwood on the West side of MN Hwy 23. To the south of Cottonwood on Hwy 23 lies Runholt Slough (also on the west side. Sham Lake (and other nearby lakes) is located on the East side of highway 23 across from the City of Cottonwood.

Sham Lake draws unusual birds. Red-throated Loon, Least Tern, Clark's Grebe, Surf Scoter. It is The Lake to stop at in Lyon County when the water is open. Nearby Runholt Slough, and Cottonwood Lake complete the diversity for water-loving birds in this part of the County, and have both held American Avocet during migration when water levels are appropriate. Cottonwood Lake is one of the better to look for Common Loon, and both Cottonwood and Sham have had Horned, Eared, and Western Grebes. A Sabine's Gull was observed at Cottonwood Lake in 2007, and who knows what else will fly over this season!

Scanning from the roads are easy with wide shoulders and several vanatage points, with the exception of Runholt Slough. Be careful whee you park there on Lyon County Road 24.

Written by Roger Schroeder