February 2017

View this email in your browser

Quick Links

In this Newsletter

  • President's Corner
  • Take Action
  • Audubon Afternoon, Genius of Birds
  • Audubon Afternoon, Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer
  • 2016 Audubon Photography Awards
  • Hog Island
  • Birdwalks and Field Trips
  • 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 for more details or to reserve your space.


General Surveys

Meadowood on Mason Neck (7:30AM - 12 PM) 

  • February 8
  • March 15

Occoquan Bay NWR  (7:30AM - 12 PM)

  • February 22
  • March 29

Butterfly and Dragonfly Surveys   (8:30 am-12:30 pm)

(Note:  Surveys will resume in April 2017.)

Any survey may be changed or canceled for weather, etc. up to an hour before the scheduled start.

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 elected officials to support actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 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 the ASNV office.

President's Corner

There is always something a little special about spotting a Brown Creeper.  They are so cryptic, for one thing; even when you are looking right at one, you aren’t quite sure you are seeing it.  And so methodical, so single-minded in their foraging – scooting up the tree trunk, and then a beeline down to the bottom of the next – all business.  I should get to know their vocalizations better, that would help.  A good winter bird is a friend for life!

Mark your calendars:  due to scheduling requirements, we are having two Audubon Afternoon programs in March, and both of them promise to be excellent.  The March 5 program will feature Jennifer Ackerman, author of The Genius of Birds, on recent and sometimes surprising findings about bird capabilities and behavior.   On March 12, Peter Marra, co-author of Cat Wars, will speak to us about the impact of outdoor cats on our bird populations.  And a reminder that on February 26, the Friends of Dyke Marsh is sponsoring a program on “Saving Secretive Marsh Birds.”   ASNV is a co-sponsor.

Last chance – the deadline is February 24 for applications for our scholarship for the July Educators’ Week at Audubon’s Hog Island camp in Maine.  If you are an educator, or if you know an educator you think might be interested, more information here.
And we have a variety of workshops coming up.  The Advocacy Workshop is scheduled for March 18; free, but requires pre-registration.  You will have two opportunities to take a Birding by Ear workshop this spring, one on March 26 and one on April 30.  Larry Meade will also be offering Spring Warblers on May 11

In case you hadn’t noticed, Bob Shipman has posted the results from the December, 2016 Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count on our web site.   Good stuff.  And the exhibit of winning photographs from the 2016 Audubon Photography Awards continues through February 14 at the Walker Nature Center in Reston.  [link]

Have a good month.

Carl Kikuchi

Take Action

Learn Advocacy Strategies; Register Now

Be sure to sign up soon at on the ASNV site for our advocacy training workshop on March 18, 2017, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Green Spring Gardens in the Annandale area near route 236 and the Beltway. See directions below.  Registration starts at 1 p.m.

Elected officials and experienced advocates will examine topics like how to get involved; how elected make decisions; how to have effective meetings with government officials; how to build a relationship with an elected official; which level of government does what; and Northern Virginia advocacy success stories. Read more...

Virginia General Assembly Ends Soon

This year’s session of the state legislature will end on February 25.  Among other bills, legislators will consider bills addressing encouraging solar energy, disclosing fracking chemicals, disposing of coal ash and Alexandria’s untreated sewage going into the Potomac River.  Legislators need to hear from their constituents.  Many are having town meetings before the session ends.  Check with yours.  Read more...

National Conservation Policies at Risk

Most national environmental groups, including the National Audubon Society, believe that the current Congress and the Trump Administration will try to weaken many current federal environmental policies.  To learn about Audubon’s efforts and advocacy needs at the federal level, visit http://www.audubon.org/conservation/advocacy .  Read more...

Fairfax County Park Authority Long-Range Master Planning

The Fairfax County Park Authority recently issued this press release which apparently presents a challenge to conservation-minded people.  Read more...

March to Curb Global Warming

A People’s Climate March will take place on April 29, 2017 in Washington, D.C., and across the country.
For more information, visit https://peoplesclimate.org/

Audubon Afternoon
Genius of Birds

Sunday, March 5, 2017
3:00 - 5:00 pm
National Wildlife Federation Blg.
11100 Wildlife Center Drive
Reston, VA 20190

Acclaimed science and nature writer Jennifer Ackerman shares stories about her travels and cutting-edge research on the newly discovered brilliance of birds.  Read more... 

Audubon Afternoon
Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer

Sunday, March 12, 2017
3:00 - 5:00 pm
National Wildlife Federation Blg.
11100 Wildlife Center Drive
Reston, VA 20190


Pete Marra has written more than 175 scientific publications, is the coeditor of Birds of Two Worlds and directs the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. His Audubon Afternoon talk is based on extensive research into the consequences of free-roaming domestic cats on bird populations as documented in his most recent book, “Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer” co-authored by Chris Santella.  Read more...


2016 Audubon Photography Awards

You still have time to see the 2016 Audubon Photography Awards show.  The show remains open at the Walkers Nature Center during the center hours through February 14. For directions and hours visit the Parks and Recreation website. Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, Walker Nature Center, and Friends of Reston are co-sponsoring the show. Read More...

Hog Island

There is still time to apply for ASNV's scholarship to “Sharing Nature: An Educator’s Week,” July 16-21, 2017, at National Audubon Society’s Hog Island Camp in Maine. The application deadline is Feb. 24, 2017. More information can be found here. If you have questions, contact Mary McLean, Youth Education Chair. For further information about Hog Island, visit the Hog Island Website.

Birdwalks and Field Trips  

Burke Lake Park, Fairfax, VA
Winter is a good time to walk around the lake checking for waterfowl and woodland birds. Tom Nardone leads.  Sponsored by the Northern Virginia Bird Club.

Getting there: Entrance is off Route 123, south of Burke Lake Road.  Follow signs to Park, turning left at second traffic light.  Take an immediate left in the park, then meet at the lot on the right (near the mini golf course). 7315 Ox Road, Fairfax Station, 22039.
Wednesday, February 15
8:30 AM to 11:00 AM
Reston’s Lakes and Waterfowl Tour, Reston, VA
We’ll meet at Lake Newport and caravan to the other Reston Lakes as we check for our winter waterfowl. Bill Brown leads. Sponsored by the Reston Association and The Bird Feeder of Reston.

Getting there:  From Route 7, go west on Baron Cameron Ave, and turn north on Village Rd. (opposite Lake Anne Village Center). Located off Brown’s Chapel Road.  Park near the tennis courts.  11452 Baron Cameron Ave.
Sunday, February 19
8:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Silver Lake Regional Park, Haymarket, VA
Join us to check out the quarry for ducks and grebes and walk the meadows and woods’ edge checking for flocks of our smaller winter residents. Led by Toby Hardwick and Jean Tatalias.  Sponsored by ASNV.

Getting there:  Exit 40 (Route 15) from I-66, 24 miles west of I-495.  Go south on Route 15 (toward Haymarket) for 0.3 miles to Route 55.  Turn right on Route 55 and then after 0.9 miles turn right onto Antioch Road.   At 1.3 miles turn right on Silver Lake Road to park entrance at 16198. Continue to end of park drive; meet at parking lot near the lake.
Saturday, March 4
8:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Dyke Marsh, Alexandria, VA
Dixie Sommers leads this walk to scope the waterfowl on the river and check out Haul Road for sparrows, kinglets, woodpeckers, and eagles. Sponsored by Northern Virginia Bird Club.

Getting there: From Alexandria, take GW Parkway south.  Cross I-495; continue 1.2 miles to Belle Haven Park entrance on the left.  Meet at the south parking lot. 6401 George Washington Memorial Parkway, Alexandria,  22307
Wednesday, March 15
8:30 to 11:30 AM
Sunrise Valley Wetlands and Polo Field, Reston, VA
We’ll check out the pond in the wetlands and the thickets in the polo fields for a variety of habitats.  Sponsored by the Reston Association and The Bird Feeder of Reston.

Getting there: From the Dulles Toll Road, go south on Fairfax County Parkway.  Turn right (west) on Sunrise Valley Drive.  Just beyond the Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride, turn into 12700 Sunrise Valley.  Park on the west (left) side of the building.
Sunday, March 19
7:30 to 10:30 AM
Mason Neck State Park, Lorton, VA
Larry Cartwright leads this walk to check out lingering waterfowl and early spring migrants. Ospreys and eagles should be nesting by then, bluebirds investigating nest boxes, and Eastern Phoebes just arriving. Sponsored by ASNV.

Getting there: From I-495, take I-95 South 7 miles to Lorton exit. Go left (east) on Route 642 to Route 1. Go right (south) on Rte. 1 and then left (east) on Gunston Rd, Rte. 242. In 4 miles, turn right into Mason Neck Management Area. We’ll meet at 8:00 at the Woodmarsh Trail Parking Lot, on the left side of the road, and then carpool into the state park. 
Sunday, March 26
8:00 to 11:30 AM
State Park fee area;
$5 per car
Bring state park pass if you have one.
Eakin Park, Fairfax, VA
Elizabeth Fenton and Tom Nardone lead the walk through this park along the Accotink Creek and woods. Sponsored by the Northern Virginia Bird Club.

Getting there:  From Route 50 outside the beltway, take Prosperity Avenue South one mile to the entrance to the parking lot on the left (east) side. 3401 Prosperity Ave, 22031.
Wednesday, March 29
8:30 to 11:00 AM
Lower Glade Stream Valley, Reston, VA
This walk follows one of the great paved paths through Reston woodland along the creek where bird activity in Spring can be lively and varied. Sponsored by the Reston Association and The Bird Feeder of Reston.

Getting there:  From I-66 west, take exit 60 to go north on Rte 123.  Turn left on Hunters Mill Road/ Route 674.  Turn left on Lawyers Road, Route 673.  Turn right on Twin Branches Road.  Park near intersection with Glade Drive and meet leader at the corner.
Sunday, April 9
7:30 to 10:30 AM

Recurring Bird Walks

Several parks in the area have established year-round weekly bird walks. These walks are not run by ASNV, but may be of interest to ASNV members. They can be found here.

Other News


Bird Feeder in Reston

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→