WRN Kids – Mike Schout Wetlands Preserve

Mike Schout Wetlands Preserve

On Saturday June 15, 2024, Nature Kids met at the Mike Schout Wetlands in New Hamburg for a birding outing with David Gascoigne. The weather was beautiful, and it was great to be outside.

This Killdeer took over as hike leader until we were led safely past its nest.

This is such an interesting area and a good news story about nature. We heard about how Mike Schout donated the land and money and then other groups joined in with more money and labor to make this area an inviting wetland for animals, plants, insects and people. One family on our outing helped plant trees here!

David pointed out details of the boardwalk and wetlands that make this such a great natural area to visit. We noticed how accessible the boardwalk is for people who walk, use a wheelchair or strollers. The railing is comfortable for leaning on and observing the area.

We strolled along the boardwalk and saw many birds, some turtles, fish, frogs, and footprints of racoons and deer. We noticed the platforms for herons to build nests and David told us that once herons start nesting here, they will also build nests in the trees, and this is called a rookery. He also told us that the ponds are not connected to the river, so the fish that live here probably came here as eggs accidentally stuck on the feet of ducks who then flew to the ponds and delivered the eggs to their new home.

All the Tree Swallow boxes had been appropriated by House Sparrows.
Map Turtle
Cookie taste test

After walking the board walk, we had a blind taste test of Regular Oreos and Golden Oreos to see if we could taste the difference. It was surprisingly difficult to decide which cookie was which until someone figured out that smelling the cookie was the best way to determine its flavour.

Birds we saw:
House sparrow
Red Winged Blackbird
Turkey vulture
Cooper’s Hawk
Eastern Kingbird

Reported by: Rachelle