July 2014
In This Issue
President's Corner
Birdathon Award Winners
Magnificent Monarchs
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
  
  • July 30 
  • August 27     
Meadowood on Mason Neck  
  • July 16
  • August 13   
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.)

  • July 11 - Occoquan Bay NWR 
  • July 18 - Meadowood
  • July 25 - Metz Wetlands
  • August 1-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

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.

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.
 
President's Corner
Carl Kikuchi
 

Our yard has been full of youngsters in recent weeks - from the two young Mourning Doves plopped down on the railing of our deck, looking a little lost ("so - what do we do next??"), to the young cardinals struggling to stay airborne, whirring away as hard as they can. We watched as the robins' nest outside our dining room window produced one fledgling - one day with mouth open, begging for food, too big for the nest - and then the next day fluttering, and gone.

 

It is good to be reminded of the regenerating power of the natural world, isn't it? To know the seasons as they turn. Summer is upon us - the bergamot in bloom, the fireflies rising.

 

ASNV, and our own Laura McDonald, are featured in the current (July) issue of Washington Parent, (found here), talking about butterflies, counts, and kids. The Audubon "Hummingbirds at Home" program also gets a plug.

 

And (I have to blush when I mention this one) ASNV friend and outgoing Board member John Lovaas was kind enough to feature ASNV on a recent edition of his Reston Impact television show here.  

 

Many thanks are in order:

  • To Carol Sottili for all her work orchestrating our very successful Birdathon this year, and to all our Birdathon participants and sponsors (award winners listed below).
  • To John Lovaas, and to former President Bruce Johnson, both of whom are stepping down from the Board - ASNV is much the better for their hard work.
  • And, of course, to Terry Liercke, our outgoing President, for his leadership over the last two years.   Terry will continue to lead our Audubon at Home program and will remain on the Board as Past President.
Have a good month!

 

Congratulations to Birdathon Award-Winning Teams!

ASNV would like to thank everyone who participated in Birdathon 2014. Eight teams took part in our annual fundraising competition, bringing in a grand total of more than $7,000. The funds are
greatly appreciated and will be put to good use in our ongoing endeavors to make Northern Virginia a more verdant place for both birds and people.

 

Top Fundraisers: Jaybirds (Carol and Jay Hadlock, Jenny Vick) - Gift certificates from Clyde's Restaurants.

 

Most Species Observed: Two Drakes, a Hen & a Chick (Greg Fleming, Larry Cartwright, Katherine Wychulis, Laura McDonald) - Gift certificates from Clyde's Restaurants.

 

Gift certificates from the Wild Bird Center of Burke were awarded to teams from two of our local nature centers, as well as to Fred Atwood's Teen Birding team.

 

Arlington Arcadians (David Farner Anderson, Scott Deibler, Jennifer Soles, Rachael Tolman, Cathy Stragar, Cliff Fairweather).

 

Potomac Overlook (Casey Pittrizzi, Halley Johnson, Emily Rarity, Jason Sprouls).

 

Scarlet Teenagers (Fred Atwood, Elizabeth Bevins, Bob Bevins, Joey Lindsay, Connor Phillips, Isaac Ahdoot , Dale Garrett).

 

Joanne Bauer, a member of the Brown Thrashers team, won the drawing for the Grand Prize of a condo weekend in Ocean City for winter birding.

 

Thanks again to all, and congratulations on a job well done!

Magnificent Monarchs
Monarchs and their amazing migration to Mexico are in peril for many reasons. Learn about the monarch life cycle, migration cycle, how you can attract them to your home garden or favorite public space, and how to raise them to send them on their fall journey. 
Date and time: Wednesday, Aug. 6 from 9 a.m. to noon 
Location: McNair Elementary School, 2499 Thomas Jefferson Drive, Herndon, VA 20171  
Cost:  $18 members/$22 non-members 
Number of attendees:  30 maximum 
About the instructor:  Georgina Chin is an elementary school teacher with a passion for monarchs and an instructor with Monarch Teacher Network.

 

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.
 

Advocacy Update
Conservation Depends On You

ASNV Urges, Stop Killing Caterpillars

ASNV and five other organizations are urging Fairfax County to terminate the fall cankerworm "suppression" program, an effort that ASNV opposed in 2013 and broadened this year to a coalition of six "sister" organizations.

 

In 2013, 2014 and several previous years, the county has done helicopter spraying in the spring that kills the caterpillar of a native insect called the "fall cankerworm" (Alsophila pometaria). The county sprays at a time when many species of birds are breeding, raising young and some birds, especially warblers, are migrating through Northern Virginia. Caterpillars are a major food source for many birds, frogs, spiders and other animals. Also disturbing is the fact that the spraying kills all moth and butterfly caterpillars, non-target species, that are out at that time. And the insecticide (BtK) "drifts" to other areas outside the target zone.

 Read more...  

 

 

Windmills Dropped, Maybe

For now, but nothing's final yet, the Lorton ESI "green energy" park proposal before the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors does not include the previously proposed wind turbines. ASNV and others argued to the county that windmills atop the landfill could threaten bald eagles and migrating and other birds. Bald eagles nest at the Mason Neck Wildlife Refuge a few miles away. ESI initially proposed that the landfill be closed by 2040, an extension over the current closing deadline of January 1, 2019. The Board has deferred the vote twice, is considering a compromise and will act again on July 29. This proposal has undergone several revisions and is still being negotiated.

Global Warming, Virginia Tries Again
On July 1, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe created the Governor's Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission, to be chaired by two Virginia Cabinet Secretaries, Brian Moran (Public Safety) and Molly Ward (Natural Resources). The group will review the multiple recommendations made by former Governor Tim Kaine's Commission on Climate Change and issue an updated report in one year. Several Northern Virginians are on the new commission. The Kaine Commission reported that Virginia is at particular risk because of sea level rise. For more here.

 

Speak Out -- Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a Clean Power Plan which includes proposed limits on carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants and the agency will hold hearings on July 29 and 30 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Clinton East Building, Room 1153, 1201 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. National Audubon seeks people to speak at the hearing and support the EPA proposal.

 Read more...  

 
Climate Change and Birds On September 9, the National Audubon Society will issue a new study detailing how a changing climate and global warming are affecting North America's birds and where. "The public release of this science will mark the launch of Audubon's climate initiative, which aspires to create a greater demand for change on the climate issue by tapping into people's passion for birds," say NAS officials. Let's let the new Virginia Commission know.

Arlington Park at Risk

An article in the June 27 Washington Post reported that the Arlington County School Board wants to use parkland to build a school, triggering protests from park advocates. Post reporter Michael Alison Chandler wrote, "Advocates for open space in Arlington are organizing a campaign to quash a proposal by the Arlington School Board to build a new elementary school on parkland next to Thomas Jefferson Middle School.

 Read more...  

 

Huntley Meadows Wetland Restoration Completed

After 22 years of planning and 60 public meetings, the $3 million wetland restoration at Huntley Meadows Park is done, but the work has just begun says former ASNV Board member and staffer, Kevin Munroe, now Huntley Park Manager.  The Fairfax County Park Authority hosted a grand opening on May 10.

 Read more...   

 

FWS Revisits Eagle "Take Permit"  

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold a public meeting and receive comments on August 7 at the South Department of Interior building, 1951 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. on revising what they call their "eagle nonpurposeful take" permits, such as kills by wind turbines. You can get more information on the proposal here.

 Read more...   

 

Greenbriar Commons Park Master Plan  

The Fairfax County Park Authority held a public meeting on a draft master plan for Greenbriar Commons Park in Fairfax County on June 24 and will receive comments for 30 days.

 

The park, at 13007 Point Pleasant Drive, has a number of existing park elements which are proposed to remain including a sand volleyball court, a playground and an open play area. The plan proposes a new picnic shelter to be located near the Point Pleasant Road frontage of the park. Send correspondence to Pat Rosend, project manager, Fairfax County Park Authority, Planning and Development Division, 12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 406, Fairfax, Virginia 22035. For more information, call the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

 

Tar Sands and Birds 

The National Wildlife Federation has published a new report, Migratory Birds and Tar Sands, explaining that the destruction of tar sands oils extraction and forest and land fragmentation in Alberta is adversely affecting the breeding habitat for many birds, including millions of songbirds and waterfowl depend on. You can read more here. You may wish to share your views with the Obama Administration and your U.S. senators and representatives. 

 

How Did They Vote? 

The Virginia League of Conservation Voters has issued its 2014 General Assembly Conservation Scorecard which rates state legislators on their conservation votes. You can find it at  valcv.org.  

Other News
 
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...