August 2014

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Conservation Counts

Join Jim Waggener in his ongoing wildlife surveys at two of Northern Virginia's best birding spots. Surveys alternate between Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge and Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area on Mason Neck.

Each survey is limited to four participants, and reservations are required. More information is available on the ASNV website.

Contact Jim via emailor phone (703-567-3555) for more details or to reserve your space.

General Surveys

Occoquan Bay NWR  

  • August 27
  • September 24   

Meadowood on Mason Neck  

  • August 13
  • September 10

Butterfly and Dragonfly Surveys

Join Jim Waggener each Friday (April-October) in his ongoing survey of the butterflies and dragonflies at four locations in Fairfax and Prince William County.

Each survey is limited to four participants, and reservations are required. More information is available on the ASNV website.

Contact Jim via email or phone (703-567-3555) for more details or to reserve your space. (Note: Surveys may be cancelled for inclement weather.)

August 8 - Occoquan Bay NWR 
August 15 - Meadowood
August 22 - Metz Wetlands
August 29 - Occoquan Regional Park  

Eakin Park Bird Walk

The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) sponsors weekly bird walks at Eakin Park  Mondays,
7:00 AM March-Nov.;
7:30 AM Dec - Feb.  Meet at Prosperity Ave. parking lot. Walk canceled if rain or severe weather. FREE

Make a Difference!

E-Activist Network. 

The National Audubon Society invites all Auduboners to join their  e-activist network. When you subscribe to their newsletter, you'll receive alerts about important Congressional actions and information about how you can affect legislation by contacting your Members of Congress.

Climate Change.

We also need passionate volunteers across Virginia who can help us persuade our U. S. senators to support a strong climate change bill. If you would like to help us make a difference with climate change and other important issues, please contact Glenda Booth.

Audubon at Home.

People-oriented volunteers are needed to help spread the word about the Audubon At Home Wildlife Sanctuary Program at community and regional events. We schedule the dates, provide all the materials, and brief you on our message -- you supply the enthusiasm!
To volunteer or for more information, contact

Save The Date

Christmas Bird Count will be on Sunday, December 14th.  More information will be available during the next four months.

President's Corner

August may be a time to kick back, but your hard-working Board of Directors and Committee Chairs are already busy making plans for the upcoming year.  Have any suggestions for workshops, or field trips, or Audubon Afternoon programs?  Please let us know.
Save the date:  our first Audubon Afternoon of the Fall will be on Sunday, October 5, when Kevin Munroe will speak to us about dragonflies. 

We’re tentatively planning on a dragonfly walk at 2:00 at Lake Fairfax, followed by Kevin’s talk at the National Wildlife Federation Building from 3:00 to 5:00.  More details will follow.

And for those who missed it, Board member Melanie LaForce and ASNV received some attention in an article in the Washington Post in July. 

Have a good month!
Carl Kikuchi

New ASNV Board of Directors Members

Please welcome our new Directors, elected at our June meeting.
Greg Butcher -- Greg is the Migratory Species Coordinator for U.S. Forest Service International Programs.  He is a Ph.D. ornithologist who has worked for the National Audubon Society, American Birding Association, Partners in Flight, Birders World magazine, and Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  Greg is a recognized public speaker and interpreter for bird conservation and ecology worldwide.  He welcomes the opportunity to contribute to Audubon's environmental mission at the local level.

Jennifer Crawford -- Jennifer is a Fairfax Master Naturalist and former teacher with the Fairfax County Public Schools and the Collier County (Florida) Public Schools.  She is an experienced public speaker.   In Florida she was a naturalist educator and tour guide with the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and the Nature Conservancy.  Prior to 2004, she served as a U.S. Army Intelligence Officer.  Jennifer is particularly interested in helping ASNV further our environmental education programs.
Ellen Jacobson -- Ellen's professional path has been extremely diverse, including membership services manager for the American Society of Civil Engineers, event planner, realtor, winery tasting room manager, professional chef and business owner.  Ellen has volunteered with Audubon for the past year as a team leader for ASNV's Wolf Trap Bird Inventory.  Her love of birding has taken her to birding hotspots worldwide.  Along with sharing her birding expertise, she looks forward to helping promote landscaping with native plants through our Audubon at Home program.
Melanie La Force -- Melanie has Masters degrees in public policy and curriculum design.  She has published papers on prairie preservation.  As a master naturalist, she has conducted stream science classes for public school students, and teaches a bird life enrichment class at Tuckahoe Elementary School.   Along with her two daughters, she has offered her backyard for the annual Smithsonian Nestwatch program for four years and just started a Chickadee study.  Her experience and expertise will be an asset in carrying the Audubon message to young people throughout our community.
Complete updated information on our Officers, Directors, and Committee Chairs is on the ASNV web site, here.

Little Brown Jobs

Have you been wondering about all those “little brown jobs” in your backyard?   Could you use a little help distinguishing between the House Finches and the Pine Siskins?  Song Sparrows and Savannah Sparrows?   This workshop will concentrate on identification skills for some of the finches, sparrows, and other similar birds in our region, including both residents and migrants, just in time for the arrival of our cold weather birds.  Limit 25.

Cost:  $30.00 for members, $40 for non-members
Classroom:  Thursday, October 16, 2014, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  Fairfax High School, 3501 Rebel Run, Fairfax, VA 22030.  Room TBA.

Field Trip:  Saturday, October 18, 2014, 8:00 am to 11:00 am.  Location TBA.

Instructor:  Larry Meade is President of the Northern Virginia Bird Club, and a former Board member of the Virginia Society of Ornithology.  He has served as a Sector Leader for a number of years for several of our local Christmas Bird Counts and is an avid nature photographer (

Sign up here.

Arlington Regional Master Naturalists Training

Arlington Regional Master Naturalists will be holding daytime training this fall, beginning September 8 through December 8, 2014 on Mondays from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at Long Branch Nature Center in Arlington, and at other locations in the area. (There will be no class on October 13.) Classroom training will be scheduled for the mornings with field training to follow in the afternoons. Applications are due Monday, August 18, 2014. For more information and to complete an application, visit the Arlington Regional Master Naturalist website at

Field Trips - Bird Walks


Stratton Woods, Reston
Sunday, August 17, 7:30-10:30 AM

This small park can be a good place to find fall warblers, and Bill Brown is good at finding them.
Getting there: From Fairfax Co. Pkwy, go west on Fox Mill Rd. Turn into the first driveway on your right and park by the ball fields.

Swift Night Out, Location to be Determined
Saturday, August 30, 7:30 PM  Raindate Sunday, August 31.

This is the time of year when Chimney Swifts gather in great numbers to roost communally before heading off on their southward migration.  We will be checking several possible sites before this date, so please call or email Carol Hadlock 703-437-7451, and leave your contact information.  We will let you know where to meet.

Riverbend Park Meadow, Great Falls, VA
Labor Day, Monday, September 1, 7:30-10:30 AM

Skip the crowds at the beach and come for a walk in the meadow, looking for early migrants (especially those pesky fall warblers!) with Carol & Jay Hadlock and Bryan Peters.  If things are slow there, we’ll take a walk along the river.
Getting there:  From Rt. 193 east of the village of Great Falls, take Riverbend Rd. to Jeffery Rd. and follow the sign to the Nature Center.  Meet in the parking lot.

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Vienna, VA
Saturday, September 13, 7:30-10:30 AM

ASNV has been surveying the birds in the park for more than a year and we've found spring migrants, nesting summer visitors, year round residents, and a good number of fall warblers in this beautiful mix of habitats. Ellen Jacobson, who leads one of the survey teams, will lead this walk. Meet Ellen at the maintenance facility.
Getting there:  From Rt. 7, take Towlston Rd. to the park.  Turn right at the first entrance to the lower parking lot and go all the way to the end.  From Vienna, cross the Toll Rd., go past the main entrance to the Filene Center, and turn left into the lower parking lot.

Bles Park, Sterling, VA
Wednesday, September 17, 8:30 AM
Co-sponsored with Northern Virginia Bird Club

This will be another good place to look for fall migrants.  Jean Tatalias will lead.
Getting there:  From the intersection of VA Route 28 and VA Route 7, travel west on Rt. 7 for 1.3 miles and turn right onto Loudoun County Parkway.  Turn right on George Washington Blvd., then left on Riverside Pkwy.  Bles Park will be on your right at the end of Riverside Pkwy.

Advocacy Update


Help Slow Climate Change

Climate change is here now in the Washington, D.C. area, said the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments in 2008. Several studies have documented how climate change is affecting habitats, wildlife and birds. Combating climate change is the National Audubon Society's top policy priority and NAS will be rolling out a new report in September. Read more...

Virginia Environmental Assembly

Join fellow conservationists for the Virginia Environmental Assembly, October 3-4, a program titled “Making Healthy Rivers, Clean Energy and Green Communities a Reality for Virginia.”  Speakers will examine fracking, Virginia’s energy future, toxics in our rivers and more.  Governor Terry McAulifee and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy have been invited to speak.   Attendees will tour the Governor’s mansion private garden and Belle Isle in the James River. Registration costs $45.  Visit  or for information.

Elect Conservation-minded Officials

Campaigns in Virginia are now in full swing, presenting Auduboners opportunities to "educate" candidates and elect conservation supporters. On November 4, Virginians will elect one U.S. Senator and all Virginia members of the U.S. House of Representatives. To learn who is running, visit the State Board of Elections here.

Participate in Plans for Ruckstuhl Park

The Fairfax County Park Authority has started the public master planning process for Ruckstuhl Park, located at 1745 Idylwood Road, Falls Church, starting with a public meeting on July 30, 2014, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., at Lemon Road Elementary School, 7230 Idylwood Road, Falls Church. Read more...

Other News

Virginia is in the Hot Seat

September 10, 2014, 7:30 pm.  Climate change is here now. You can learn how it is affecting Northern Virginia, how wetlands like Dyke Marsh and other natural resources of Northern Virginia will be affected and how Northern Virginia can respond. Molly Mitchell, a wetland scientist with the Virginia Institute for Marine Science will examine the impact of climate change and sea level rise on the Potomac River, the role of tidal wetlands like Dyke Marsh in buffering storm energy, absorbing floodwaters and performing other ecological services. She grew up near Dyke Marsh and has expertise in wetlands management and upland water interface. Huntley Meadows Park Visitor Center, 3701 Lockheed Blvd., Alexandria, VA 22306 More information can be found here.

The Bird Feeder in Reston

This store offers a 10% discount to current ASNV members, good on all purchases excluding optics and sale merchandise. When you visit, just tell them you are a member of ASNV and ask for the discount.  Read more...
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