Preschool Explorers Become Budding Birders at the Cold Brook Preserve

Reflections by Naturalist & Walk Leader Andrea Higgins
Photos provided by Maria Silverman (Preschool Explorer Mom)

A songbird chorus and a call from a frog in the bog greeted our bright and smiling Preschool Explorers this beautiful spring morning at HCT’s Robert F. Smith Cold Brook Preserve. A gentle breeze and a sky filled with swirling silver blue clouds welcomed Preschoolers with their parents and grandparents to explore this inviting conservation destination in the heart of Harwich Port. The bounty of bird songs beckoned us to begin our exploration.

Our letter of the day was “B”, and we were immediately greeted by Baltimore Orioles’ bright orange and black pattern as they flew above us, landing and serenading us with their delightful and melodious tune. We paused, looking and listening to all that surrounded us. A variety of songbird calls from many species filled the Preserve as flashes of their brightly colored feathers danced across our field of vision.

Several art creations were made on the adventure today. First, we made our very own binoculars fashioned out of recycled paper tubing and bright colored shoelaces. They were decorated with original designs using crayons and markers. We next created Baltimore Orioles out of orange and black construction paper and glue. 

Preschool Explorers admired and carefully examined real Baltimore Oriole nests and noticed the materials the birds used to weave their nests together. A Bird’s Nest by Niles Worthington was our first read-aloud book of the day. Preschoolers listened while cozy on a blanket spread out on the trail. A Bird’s Nest is a picture book highlighting birds’ creativity and nest-building artistry. From eagles to woodpeckers, this book illustrates the methods that different bird species use to construct places to lay their eggs and raise their chicks. 

With our homemade binoculars around our necks, our searching saunter began as we set off on the trails, identifying plants along the paths. We paused at the brook and discovered small eels (the size of spaghetti) wiggling in the waters below…how exciting!! Preschoolers looked out across the wetlands and used their binoculars to spot all our feathered friends in flight. 

A patch of sand on the path was a perfect canvas for us to practice writing our letter B. We found nature writing instruments (sticks and rocks) for this calligraphy lesson.

A perfectly placed bench discovered along the path welcomed us to listen to another story. Friends cozied up together underneath the new spring leaves of a beautiful tree to listen to Dear Little One by Nina Laden. This is one of my all-time favorite children’s books and is a celebration of the wonders of the world. It is a picture book about the joy, love, and beauty found each and every day from flowers to insects and encourages exploration and appreciation of our natural world and the beauty that surrounds us. 

Next, it was time to run, run, run! Big smiles stretched across the faces of each Preschool Explorer as we ran on the trails pretending to fly like the birds. We rambled along, circling back to admire birds flying about, and stopped to smell flowers along the way until it was time to say good-bye.  

Thank you, grandparents, mommas, and precious Preschoolers for sharing this Tuesday morning with me.

I am so looking forward to seeing you next week.

Happy Exploring,
Ms. Andrea