December 2013
In This Issue
Christmas Bird Count
Winter Waterfowl Survey
Adult Education
Field Trips - Bird Walks
Advocacy Update
Other News
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 email or phone (703-567-3555) for more details or to reserve your space.

General Surveys

Occoquan Bay NWR
  
  • December 18 
  • January 29 
Meadowood on Mason Neck 
  • January 15      
Eakin Park Bird Walk
Hidden Oaks Nature Center (FCPA) sponsors weekly bird walks along the Accotink Stream Valley. Mondays,
7:00 AM March-Nov.;
7:30 AM Dec - Feb.


Help make a difference!
Volunteer
 
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.

Research Plant Value to Wildlife. ASNV is looking 
for a Virgina master naturalist, or other interested volunteer, willing to research the wildlife value of specific native plants. 

More information about these and other opportunities can be found here.

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 info@audubonva.org.
 
Merry Christmas
and
Happy New Year
 

Christmas Bird Counts

ASNV's Annual Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count - Sunday, December 15th

 

ASNV's Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count will be on Sunday, December 15th. Our count circle is around Centreville and takes in Manassas Battlefield, parts of Bull Run Regional Park, undeveloped areas south of Dulles Airport, and many stream valley parks and undeveloped locations from Clifton to west Fairfax City. As in the past, we'll be offering a hot lunch to participants. We have had good turnouts the past couple of years, but we still need new volunteers. Those of you who participated last year should have been contacted by your sector leader by now to ask you to join us again this year. If you haven't heard from your sector leader, or if you would like to be in a different sector, contact the ASNV office at the address below. Also, this year, we will again offer an opportunity for feeder watchers. If you or someone you know lives within the count circle and cannot go out on the count, he or she can sit inside and count the birds that come to a feeder on count day as an alternate way to participate. If you are new to CBCs and want to volunteer, contact the ASNV office by e-mail  or call 703-438-6008. Look for a summary of results in next month's newsletter.

 

Winter Waterfowl Survey

2014 Waterfowl Survey - January 25th and 26th    

Our Winter Waterfowl Survey will be January 25 and 26. Volunteers will go out on one of the days. The survey takes place at various points along the Potomac River and at inland lakes, ponds and other standing bodies of water that attract waterfowl. To sign up, send your name, address and contact information to info@audubonva.org or call 703-438-6008.

 

Winter Waterfowl ID Walk-January 12, 2014

Join us for an introduction to winter waterfowl identification, in preparation for our annual ASNV Waterfowl Count to prepare for the Waterfowl Count. 

 

Get to know some of the many waterfowl species that winter in the open waters of our region, from lesser scaup, to green-winged teal, hooded mergansers, and buffleheads, to tundra swans, and more.  This will be an outdoor field trip/bird walk, so dress for the weather.  We will visit the Great Marsh and Belmont Bay on the Mason Neck peninsula.  Bring binoculars and a scope if you have one; the leader will have a scope and waterfowl identification guides.   

 

Meet at Great Marsh Trail parking lot on Gunston Rd.  Directions:  from Route 1 in Lorton, take Gunston   Rd east (toward Mason Neck State Park.)  Continue on Gunston Rd. past turnoff to Mason Neck State Park to parking lot for the Great Marsh Trail on the right.   

    

Date: Saturday, January 12, 2014

Time: 9:00 am - noon

Location: Mason Neck State Park

Leader:  Larry Cartwright

Cost:  Free; advance registration required.

Adult Education

 

Volunteers Wanted

 

Do you love learning more about birds, native plants, and important native species? The education committee is looking for volunteers to help with setting up classes for the LEAP program. Work with knowledgable birders, Master Naturalists to coordinate Educational classes for ASNV members and the general public. Get to know the teachers. Learn about the logistics of class scheduling and pricing policy. Contact: Mary McLean, ASNV Ed. Committee, or 703-966-2047.    

Field Trips - Bird Walks
.

Winter Birds of the Northern Neck

Saturday. January 18, 2014, all day  

Reservations required  

 

Sean Duffy will lead this trip. Details are still being worked out, but reservations can already be made by calling Sean at 703-318-0316, or email him. . Watch the January newsletter for info on meeting place and time, carpooling, places to be visited, what to bring, etc.  

 
 
 

Advocacy Update
Conservation Depends On You

Virginia General Assembly to Convene

The Virginia Conservation Network will hold an advocacy day on January 20 in Richmond to talk to state legislators about conservation issues and legislation. Visit www.vcnva.org. The General Assembly will convene on January 8. The inauguration is on January 11. Here's an article about some of the bills filed so far.

Public Hearing on Fairfax County Environment

Here's a good opportunity for Auduboners to advocate for stronger conservation policies in Fairfax County. The Fairfax County Environmental Quality Advisory Council's 2013 Annual Report on the Environment is now available. Read more... 

New Fairfax County Parks Director

Kirk W. Kincannon is the new director of the Fairfax County Park Authority starting January 27, 2014. Read more... 

More Parkland

The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority has added four new properties: Rust Sanctuary via a long-term lease; the Webb Sanctuary in Clifton; Mount Defiance property in Middleburg; and an addition to Gilbert's Corner Park. Read more ... 

Advocates' Work Can Enhance Habitat

Takoma Park, Maryland, officials have passed a law that bans the cosmetic use of certain pesticides on privately-owned properties. The group that spurred the action was concerned about companies spraying lawns (pesticides drift) and pesticides sold in local stores. Here's an article about it.

A Warmer Virginia

A 359-page report titled Climate of the Southeast United States: Variability, Change, Impacts and Vulnerability projects that average annual temperatures will warm by as much as nine degrees Fahrenheit in the southeastern U.S. this century. Read more...  

Virginia Comes in at Zero

A September study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranked 34 U.S. cities on their actions to advance energy efficiency. ACEEE included none - zero - in Virginia. Read more... 

 

Other News
Take Back the Forest

Next spring there will be a HUGE push to control invasive species in Fairfax County parks & Take Back the Forest.  Over 500 volunteers will work to remove invasive plants, replant native plants, and restore local forests back to health.  All volunteers will get a free t-shirt. We invite young artists from Fairfax County (ages 12-18) to design artwork for a t-shirt that captures our theme of Take Back the Forest.  We are open to your creativity and ideas!  A panel of judges will select the winning design from the pool of contest entries. The winner will receive a $50.00 gift certificate to REI and a t-shirt displaying their design. Entries are due before 5pm on January 10th, 2014.  More info...

.