Thanks to everyone who attended our June annual meeting, and the great talk by Martin Ogle. For those who were unable to attend, we elected three great new members to our board of directors; Dr. Mary Van Dyke, an internationally known architect who now focuses her time on the relationship between a community, its values and the environment, and is presently facilitating outdoor learning at the Arlington Traditional School, brings her love of science, art and culture to our Audubon Chapter; John Lovaas, who, after a broad career in the Foreign Service, has become a fixture in the Reston Community where he hosts the public affairs program, Reston Impact, on Reston Community Television, authors regular columns in Reston newspapers and who, along with his wife Fran, runs the Reston Farmers Market which he organized in 1998; and Carl Kikuchi, a Master Naturalist twice over, with Audubon and the State of Virginia, a master birder, and someone who has worked many hours helping us get our educational programming on the right track. Congratulations to all three!
One of the things we decided at our last board meeting will be to rotate our quarterly Audubon Afternoon meetings and lectures around the greater Fairfax County area to make it easier for some of you to attend. Along these lines, we'll have the September meeting in Fairfax City; our December Holiday Afternoon in Arlington and our March session in Alexandria, followed by our June 2012 meeting back here in Reston at the National Wildlife Federation building. Stay tuned to our website and to The Flier on times and specific location together with information on the speaker and have a great summer!
Stay in touch, Bruce
Welcome new board members!
We feel very lucky and pleased to be able to welcome the following great folks onto our board for the next three years, hopefully more!
Carl Kikuchi – at large, 2011-14
Carl is an ASNV Master Naturalist, an Audubon at Home Ambassador, and a Fairfax Master Naturalist. He has served on the ASNV Education Committee, and has been a regular participant in the ASNV Manassas Christmas Bird Count, the Winter Waterfowl Count, and the Northern Virginia Bird Survey. He’s been a birder and ASNV member since 2004, and longs for more time and opportunity to improve his birding and other natural history skills. This year he is trying to grow Brussels sprouts and potatoes in his garden, and, if successful, intends to eat them both.
Mary Van Dyke - at large, 2011-14
Mary came to North Virginia in 1996, having lived in Minnesota, the UK and Greece. Mary practiced architecture in the UK and has a PhD focusing on the relationship between a community, its values and the environment. Mary currently volunteers with several organizations to advocate for environmental education, including Virginia Cooperative Extension and Master Naturalists, and she facilitates outdoor learning at Arlington Traditional School (ATS). At ATS she has worked to encourage native habitats, with grants from the Virginia Environmental Endowment and Audubon at Home. Mary brings her love of nature, science, art and culture to Audubon.
John Lovaas - at large, 2011-14
John was born in Washington, DC and grew up in the Maryland suburbs. He attended the University of Maryland, graduating with a BS in Political Science before joining the U.S. Agency for International Development. Since retirement from the Foreign Service, he has served on the Boards of Directors of the Reston Association and the Reston Community Center and as President of the Reston Citizens Association, Fran and John are the Co-Market Masters of the Reston Farmers Market which John helped to start in 1998. He has worked in Reston community television since 1998 as the host of the public affairs program RESTON IMPACT and authors regular columns in the Reston Connection and the Reston Patch online newspaper. John and Fran have two sons, one daughter and two grandchildren. They live by Lake Anne in Reston.
In addition, several current board members were re-elected and/or accepted roles as officers. We’re thrilled that they’re willing to give us another three years, and take on the many and vital responsibilities of officership. They are as follows:
- Bruce Johnson – President
- Bill Brown –Treasurer
- Terry Liercke – Vice President
- Carol Sottili – Secretary
Fairfax County Deer Management Work Group Formed
ASNV is represented, along with a number of non-profit and government agencies, in a new working group formed by Fairfax County government. The group is the initiative of Vicky Monroe, the county wildlife biologist, who is seeking input from the community regarding the increasing threat from an expanding deer population. The incidence of Lyme disease is growing, heavy browsing is inhibiting regeneration of woodlands and natural spaces, and vehicle/deer encounters remain a problem. The objective of the group is to make recommendations for improvement of the county's deer management plan, which is constrained by very limited budget resources, and now consists of managed hunts, police sharpshooters, and individual bowhunters.
ASNV members who have questions or comments on this subject are invited to contact the office. The working group is meeting monthly for the remainder of the year.
Delaware Bay Trip Report Available for Download
The May field trip to Delaware Bay was a great success! The group saw 128 species including Brown-headed Nuthatches and Least Terns. Read the full report (pdf download).
New Audubon at Home Workshop Series
We have started a new series of Audubon at Home workshop to provide enrichment for Audubon at Home clients and additional training for our volunteer Ambassadors. These programs vary for 1.5 – 3 hours and are typically held in private homes or local parks. Workshop will be offered free to current and trainee Audubon at Home Ambassadors. Also, we’re offering our first workshop, Creating a Woodland Habitat in Your Yard, free to all participants.
Other workshops in the series coming up over the next 12 – 14 months will cover topics such as native plant identification, invasive exotics, pocket meadows, native plant propagation, alternatives to traditional plantings, deer resistant gardening, pollinators and gardens and Audubon at Home sanctuary species.
We are now accepting registrations for the following two workshops:
Visit our website to learn more about Audubon at Home, these workshops, and to read our blog. Each workshop is limited to 12 participants. Contact the ASNV office at 703-438-6008 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to reserve your space.
Upcoming Field Trips
Registration is not required unless noted. Contact the ASNV office at 703-438-6008 or email@example.com for more information. Participants should dress for the weather and bring binoculars. Visit our website for more information about these and other upcoming field trips.
Twin Branches Trail, Reston
Sunday, July 24, 7:30 - 10:30 AM
This trail is shady, through stream valley and mature forest -- a good place to be in July. Surprises often turn up here. The beginning of the trail is rather steep and rocky downhill, so wear appropriate footwear. For directions and additional information, click here.
Huntly Meadows Butterfly Walk
Sunday, July 31, 10 AM - noon
Join recent graduate of Audubon Naturalist Society Naturalist Certificate Program, Virginia Master Naturalist and avid butterflier Mary Alexander on a walk along Huntley Meadow's boardwalk looking for interesting butterflies. This walk is directed toward families with children and those who wish to be introduced to the interesting life of Virginia's butterflies. We hope to see Virginia's state butterfly, the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and will look at what's nectaring on any rare purple milkweed still blooming in the meadow (if any is left from construction). This will be the last day that the park's boardwalk will be open before replacement work begins, so join us if only to see the boardwalk. Since this weekend the park is having its open house, the group will meet in front of the visitor's center. Bring binoculars, insect repellent, water and a hat. For directions and additional information, click here.
Are you interested? We are considering an all day trip to the Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro.
This center is a premier hospital and rehabilitation center for injured and orphaned wildlife in Virginia. We would like to know how many folks would be interested in visiting the center, probably in October. The drive down is about 3 hours, and the tour can be combined with a hike in the George Washington National Forest if there is interest. There will be a fee, based on the number of people attending. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please email Carol Hadlock. Details will follow after we assess the interest.
Remember to check our website regularly for more walks, classes and other activities.
Take the LEAPP®!
The LEAPP® (Learn, Enjoy, Appreciate, Preserve, and Protect) program offers the opportunity to learn more about the natural world and be informed, active stewards for its care and protection. To register or for more information, please visit our website, email us or call the ASNV office at 703-438-6008. Don’t miss out – register early! Please note that registration is not complete until payment is received. Visit our website for more information about these and other upcoming LEAPP programs.
Saturday, July 30, 9 AM - 12 PM
Monarch populations are dwindling due to climate, parasites, predation, pesticides and loss of habitat. Rearing monarchs is a way to ensure the success of local populations. The butterflies spend their last brood here before flying south to Mexico. Learn a little about their natural history and biology, and then collect eggs and caterpillars to raise in captivity. And if we get brave, we'll tag a few. For directions and additional information, click here.
Advocacy Update: Conservation Depends on You
Stop Mercury Pollution
Mercury is a neurotoxin found in many waters of every state, including many of the rivers and lakes of Virginia. It is particularly harmful to birds and other animals at the top of the food chain, such as bald eagles, great egrets and loons. It is also harmful to people, especially pregnant women and babies.
The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed to reduce mercury emissions from facilities, such as coal-burning power plants. The EPA is accepting comments until August 4. We urge our members to send comments to the EPA. Comments do not have to be long or technical.
Learn more on the EPA website.
Read an EPA fact sheet and learn how to submit your comments (pdf download).
Send the EPA a note, via the National Audubon Society's online action center. Let the EPA know you care.
Keep the Ban on Uranium Mining
Virginia has had a ban on uranium mining for 30 years, but some are trying to lift the ban so they can mine and process uranium in the state. Learn why this is a problem, and discover how you can help keep the ban on uranium mining in effect in Virginia at a workshop co-sponsored by the Virginia Conservation Network, the Virginia League of Conservation Voters-Education Fund and the Sierra Club. The event, which includes a free dinner, is on June 30, from 5:30 - 8 PM, at the Arlington Central Library, 1015 North Quincy Street, Arlington, VA 22201 (near Virginia Square and Ballston Metro).
Learn more online.
This is also a good opportunity to meet state legislators and probably some candidates.
Ask Candidates about Conservation
Primaries will be held in certain districts on August 23 this year to select party nominees for state offices. On November 8, Virginians will elect state legislators and local officials in many jurisdictions to represent newly redrawn districts. Visit the State Board of Elections' website to see the new 2011 election calendar. Campaigns offer many opportunities to meet and work for candidates and to influence their conservation platform. Ask them what they plan to do. Remind them that their constituents care about local wildlife and conservation. Learn how your current elected representatives voted on key conservation issues in 2010 by visiting the League of Conservation Voters online.
Offshore Wind Energy
Join other conservationists on July 9, from 8:30 – 10am, at Brion’s Grille, 10621 Braddock Road, Fairfax, VA 22032 (across from George Mason University) for a Green Breakfast and to learn about the potential for and problems with offshore wind energy development.
As interest and demand for renewable energy continues to grow, wind farms may be an increasingly viable option. Many countries in Europe and Asia have had offshore wind farms for at least a decade, and the East Coast, particularly Virginia, has excellent wind conditions. Harnessing the wind off our coast could provide enough energy to power 700,000 homes and create thousands of jobs, say advocates. Groups like the American Bird Conservancy warn that pelagic, migrating and other birds and some marine animals can have fatal collisions with offshore wind structures and structures could be built in or near the Atlantic flyway.
The breakfast buffet is $10. Annette Ramos with the Sierra Club will make the presentation at 9:00 a.m.
How Did They Vote?
Learn how your elected representatives voted on key conservation issues in 2010 by visiting the League of Conservation Voters online.
Annual Butterfly Count
On Saturday, July 2, 8:30am - 1pm, we will conduct a survey of butterflies in the Occoquan Bay area as part of the North American Butterfly Association's 4th of July Count. Learn more online. For details and to participate contact Jim Waggener at 703-567-3555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Jim Waggener in his ongoing wildlife surveys at two of Northern Virginia's best birding spots. Surveys are held on scheduled Wednesdays, alternating 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. Call Jim at 703-567-3555 for more details or to reserve your space.
Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge
- June 29 (6am start, in conjunction with NOVA Bird Survey. Call Jim for details.)
- July 27
Take I-95 to Woodbridge exit 161. Go south on Rt. 1 to Dawson Beach Road, turn left, and go to the central parking area.
Meadowood on Mason Neck
Take I-95 to Lorton exit 163. Turn left on Lorton Road, right on Rt. 1, and left on Gunston Road. About a mile past the elementary school you will see Meadowood’s horse pastures and signs on the right. Enter through the iron gateway, drive straight ahead and park by the stables.
Butterfly and Dragonfly Surveys
Join Jim Waggener each Friday, from April through October, in his ongoing survey of the butterflies and dragonflies at four locations in Fairfax and Prince William Counties. Limit: 4 individuals each week. Reservations required. Call Jim at 703-567-3555 for reservations and directions.
Note: Surveys may be cancelled for inclement weather.
- July 1, Occoquan Bay NWR
- July 8, Meadowood
- July 15, Metz Wetlands
The Nature of Meadowood
Join an experienced naturalist to discover the special diversity of wildlife and natural habitats within the Bureau of Land Management's Meadowood Recreation Area. Trips are limited to 10. Call BLM's Jinx Fox, 703-928-0186, for reservations.
Upcoming dates (Saturdays, 8:30 - 11:30 AM)
Eakin Park Bird Walk
Every Monday morning, weather permitting
Hidden Oaks Nature Center (FCPA) sponsors weekly bird walks along the Accotink Stream Valley.
We meet every Monday morning (weather permitting) at the parking lot on Prosperity Ave. about half way between Routes 50 and 236 (Little River Turnpike). We begin at 7:30 a.m. Dec. through Feb. and 7:00 a.m. the rest of the year. No need to sign up. The walk generally goes for a couple of hours but can vary depending on how "birdy" it is and the weather. If you have any questions please contact the leader Carolyn Williams at 703-273-1961.
Audubon at Home needs you!
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 Cliff Fairweather at email@example.com or 703-256-6895.
Watch Virginia's Eagles
Three bald eagles from Norfolk Botanical Garden were relocated to the Wildlife Center of Virginia on April 27, after their mother was killed by an airplane the previous day. The eaglets are receiving excellent care and are being prepared for release into the wild in August.
Watch the eaglets via webcam.
Learn more about the Wildlife Center of Virginia.
You Can Help Make a Difference
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. Visit www.audubonaction.org to learn more.
We 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.