January 2017

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In this Newsletter

  • President's Corner
  • Audubon Afternoon
  • Two Audubon Events
  • Hog Island
  • Northern Virginia Bird Club Scholarship
  • Take Action
  • Beginning Birding: Winter Birds
  • Birdwalks and Field Trips
  • Recurring Bird Walks
  • 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) 

  • January 11
  • February 8

Occoquan Bay NWR  (7:30AM - 12 PM)

  • January 25
  • February 22

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

The Northern Shoveler is the Jimmy Durante of dabbling ducks, unmistakable with that outsized bill, male or female, in any plumage.  Unassuming.  Not as elegant as a pintail, or as handsome as a Hooded Merganser; not as plentiful as Canvasbacks or as showy as the swans.  Probably not even your favorite duck (just a guess), but we are lucky to have them adding to the richness of our winter waterfowl show.  Now is the time to see them!  (And what better excuse than our Winter Waterfowl Count, coming up the weekend of February 4 & 5, with a pre-count workshop on January 29 More information for both can be found here.) 
We are very pleased to be co-sponsoring, with the Friends of Reston, an exhibit of the photographs from the National Audubon Photography Awards Show.  The exhibit will be at the Walker Nature Center in Reston from January 28 through February 14, and is free. There will be an open house on January 29, and screening of the film John James Audubon and the Birds of America on January 27. 

Last minute reminder to come join us for our Post-Holiday Audubon Afternoon on Sunday, January 8.  David Johnson, Director of the Global Owl Project, will be speaking to us about “Owls in Myth and Culture.”   Come at 2:30 for refreshments and socializing.
Spaces still available in our “Beginning Birding:  Winter Birds” workshop on January 19, with a field trip January 22 (note this is a change to the field trip date.)

Space is still available on the trip to Belize/Guatemala in March, offered in partnership with Holbrook Travel.  This is an opportunity for some fantastic birding, and it is also a way you can support sustainable, bird-based tourism in the wintering grounds for many of the birds that breed in our area in the summer.  Proceeds also help to support ASNV.
Have a good month.

Carl Kikuchi

Audubon Afternoon


Owls in Myth and Culture – a Global Perspective
Save the Date: Sunday, January 8, 2017, 2:30 – 5:00 pm

National Wildlife Federation Building
11100 Wildlife Center Dr., Reston, VA 20190

David H. Johnson, Director – Global Owl Project.  djowl@aol.com

 Every society on earth has myths and legends about owls. What people believe about owls makes a difference in how they protect and conserve owls.  So, what do people really believe?  We interviewed about 6,000 people in 30 countries, using a 4-page interview form translated into 17 languages. 

The answers gave remarkable and wildly varied insights about the current ecological knowledge and cultural perspectives about owls.  Read More...

Two Audubon Events

Looking for new ways this winter to pursue your obsession with nature and birds without having to endure the cold weather?  Then consider adding these two great events to your 2017 calendar.

Environmental Film Series Features J.J. Audubon

On Friday, Jan. 27, 7-9 p.m., trek over to the Walker Nature Center located at 11450 Glade Drive, Reston, VA, 20191, for a showing of the environmental film “John James Audubon & Birds of America.” Following the film, there will be a preview of the 2016 Audubon Photography Award Winners which are on view from January 28 through February 14, 2017.  Reservations are required by January 24. Call 703-476-9689. A $5 donation is suggested.   Read more... 

2016 Audubon Photography Awards

On Sunday, January 29, there will be an open house for the photography show from 1-3 p.m. The show remains open during nature 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.

Northern Virginia Bird Club Scholarship

Our friends at the Northern Virginia Bird Club are pleased to announce the Val Kitchens Memorial Scholarship for 2017. The scholarship will provide financial support to a young birder from 13 to 18 years of age to attend a VSO activity, a birding camp, or a similar activity. Scholarship applications up to $550 will be accepted.

More information here. All Scholarship Applications and supporting material must be in by February 1, 2017. 

Take Action

Northern Virginia State Legislators to Hear Views, January 7

The Fairfax County delegation to the General Assembly will hold a hearing to receive comments from the public on Saturday, January 7, at 9 a.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center.  Fairfax County residents who want to sign up in advance to speak  should register online or contact the Office of the Clerk to the Board of Supervisors at 703-324-3151, TTY 711, by noon on Friday, January 6.  Read more...

Let the State Legislature Know Your Views

The Virginia General Assembly will be in session from January 11 to February 25, 2017.   The Virginia Conservation Network will have its Conservation Lobby Day on January 23 in Richmond.  If you plan to attend, contact Glenda Booth to coordinate. You can read VCN’s briefing book on their website.   Info:  www.vcnva.org.  Read more....

How Is Fairfax County’s Environment?

Auduboners can comment on the state of Fairfax County’s environment and how to improve it at a public meeting of the Fairfax County Environmental Quality Advisory Council (EQAC) on January 11, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. in conference rooms 9 and 10 of the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Virginia.  Read more...

Learn Advocacy Skills

Government officials, electeds and others, need to hear from the people they serve.  A functioning democracy requires an active citizenry. ASNV will host an advocacy training workshop on Saturday, March 18, 2017, in the afternoon at Green Springs Gardens, Annandale/Alexandria  Read more... 

Plan Lake Accotink Park

Many local jurisdictions develop master plans for their parks.  The master planning process provides the public opportunities to influence decision-making and influence the nature of parks and the activities they can support.  Read more...

The U.S. Congress, What’s Ahead?

On November 8, all incumbent Northern Virginia U.S. representatives were re-elected:  Cong. Don Beyer (D-8); Cong. Gerry Connolly (D-11); Cong. Barbara Comstock, (R-10); and Cong. Rob Wittman (R-1).  Virginia’s U.S. Senators, Tim Kaine (D) and Mark Warner (D) were not up for re-election in 2016.  Read more...

Beginning Birding: Winter Birds

Winter is a great time to improve your birding skills. Birds are easier to find since there are no leaves on the trees. In addition, winter brings a wide variety of usually easy to see ducks and geese. Several species of hawks and sparrows also call our region home during our coldest months. For this workshop we will have a classroom session and a field trip.  Limit 25. 

Cost: $30.00 for members, $40 for non-members. Register here.
Classroom: Thursday, January 19, 2017, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Fairfax High School, 3501 Rebel Run, Fairfax, VA 22030. Room TBA.
Field Trip: Saturday, January 21, 2017, 8:00 am to 12:00 noon.  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 (http://uberlarry.smugmug.com/).

Birdwalks and Field Trips  

Burke Lake Park, Fairfax VA
This walk includes lake views, woods, and fields. It’s a great time for look for winter waterfowl and other residents. Leaders Catherine Kubo and Jean Tatalias. 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, January 11
8:30 to 11:00 AM
Eakin Park, Fairfax County, VA
Start the Holiday early and join the regular Monday bird walk through this local wooded park where hawks and barred owls can often be found. Carolyn Williams leads. Sponsored by Fairfax County.
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.
Monday, January 15
7:30 to 9:30 AM
Dyke Marsh, Alexandria, VA
Join leader Tom Nardone to scan the river for waterfowl and enjoy a walk through the marsh and woodland areas. Sponsored by the 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, January 25
8:30 to 11:30 AM
Waterfowl Survey, Fairfax, Arlington, and Prince William Counties
Annual waterfowl survey has birders of all skill levels as volunteers.  Larry Cartwright is the volunteer compiler. To volunteer, contact info@audubon.org or call 703-438-6008
Saturday, February 4
Sunday, February 5
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
We’ll meet at Lake Newport and caravan to the other Reston Lakes as we check for our winter waterfowl. 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

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→