June 2012
In This Issue
Birds of Northern VA
Advocacy Update

Upcoming Events

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.

Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge
  • June 27 (with N. Va. Bird survey, 6:00 a.m. start)
  • July 25
Meadowood on Mason Neck
  • June 13 (with N. Va. Bird survey, 6:30 a.m. start)
  • July 11

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.)

Upcoming surveys:
  • June 15:  OBNWR
  • June 22:  Meadowood Recreation Area
  • June 29:  Metz Wetlands
  • July 6:  Occoquan Regional Park
  • July 13:  OBNWR
  • July 20:  Meadowood Recreation Area
  • July 27:  Metz Wetlands

Eakin Park Bird Walk
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 AM December through February, and 7 AM the rest of the year. No need to sign up. The walk generally goes for a couple 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 info@audubonva.org.

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 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.
Message from the ASNV President

Hello, Everybody!
I hope everyone's got great summer plans and that we're included in them.  Don't forget that we are changing the guard at our Audubon Afternoon on June 10th at the NWF Hqs in Reston.  Terry Liercke is slated to take my place as president and we will be bringing on three new board members to replace Glenda Booth, Rusty Moran and Marilyn Gaizband who are stepping down but who will remain very active behind the scenes.  Our new members are Al Alborn, an Audubon at Home Ambassador and Master Gardener who is very active in the conservation network in Prince William County; John Gasson, a businessman who has donated an enormous amount of time to the arts in Reston and who sits on a number of boards in the Reston community; and, Casey Pittrizzi, a naturalist with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.  All three bring an interesting array of skills and new ideas and with their help we'll look forward to bringing you some new programming next year and we should have their bios posted on our website very soon.    

This is the last time you get to hear from me in this space but I intend to write an occasional "Letter from Loudoun" in future newsletters letting everybody know what's going on out where I live and to encourage you to join us on field trips out closer to the Blue Ridge.  And, I'll remain very engaged as a board member and the email address stays the same so remember to "Stay in Touch" and have a great summer.


ASNV is on Facebook!
"Like" our Facebook page for updates and the latest news

We have a Facebook page! Go to our website (www.audubonva.org), click on the Facebook logo and like us. Or, click here to be taken directly to the page.

All you have to do is click "like" on our Facebook page, and you'll be kept in the loop on our latest events, field trips and classes. We'll also be using the page to share ideas and thoughts about our organization and the natural world.

Come join the conversation!


Birds of Northern Virginia

ASNV recently updated its report on long-term bird trends in Northern Virginia. Unfortunately, the long-term data show a steady decline in the abundance of birds in the region, although there is some good news too. The report is available on our website under Northern Virginia Bird Trends


ASNV Board of Directors
Changes Faces

With voting completed on June 10 to usher in several new board members, our sincere appreciation goes to those who are stepping aside, with special thanks to Bruce Johnson, who completes his role as president but will continue to serve ASNV as a member of the board of directors.  Bruce will assume a new volunteer position as president of the Virginia Audubon Council, the coordinating body for the state's six Audubon chapters.  Bruce has presided over a very successful period of growth and strengthening of the chapter, and we look forward to his continued leadership as a board member.


Many thanks also to Glenda Booth, Rusty Moran, and Marilyn Gaizband who will be stepping down from the board.  All three will continue their active leadership and involvement as volunteers with ASNV.  Glenda puts in untold service hours leading the chapter's advocacy committee and providing an invaluable link to environmental issues at local, state, and national levels.  Rusty has been a tireless coordinator for ASNV's conservation committee in support of our many citizen science initiatives, and particularly the updated reporting on the annual Northern Virginia Bird Survey.  Marilyn assumed responsibility for the ASNV website at a critical time of change and also volunteered to lead production of our e-newsletter. 

ASNV is very fortunate to have these skilled and dedicated volunteers continuing to serve our mission and community.


Audubon at Home Moves Ahead
with New Volunteer Support

The Audubon at Home Wildlife Sanctuary program is alive and well!  Following Cliff Fairweather's departure, there has been a period of retrenchment, but a heartening increase in volunteer support from Arlington to Prince William counties.  A focus group of volunteer Audubon at Home ambassadors expressed determination to continue the program and promote its growth.  With the leadership of incoming board member, Al Alborn, a partnership has been cemented with  Prince William Master Gardeners, many of whom have volunteered to become AAH ambassadors.

Kasha Helget and Nippy Page volunteered to help manage and administer the overall program.  Nippy is project coordinator and is now employed part time for the remainder of the current grant.  Kasha has organized a new "Audubon at Home 101" workshop for beginning habitat gardeners and prospective  volunteer AAH ambassadors. 

The new program incentive, the "Native Plant Starter Kit," is now circulating, and is available to all who participate in the wildlife sanctuary certification program. These kits consist of a selected list of native wildflowers and shrubs that are being supplied by our partners, Earth Sangha and Potowmack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society.  There are a limited number of kits available for our first season, and we hope they sell out fast.  New native plants in the ground mean new habitat, as ASNV and partners make a bid to conserve and restore our natural environment and the corridors essential to migratory birds and other wildlife.

How and Where Birds Migrate and Why - September 12


"Taking Flight -- Migratory Birds and Their Journeys" will be the focus of the September 12 meeting of the Friends of Dyke Marsh when Alicia Frances King from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Migratory Bird Program will make a presentation on the mysteries of migration. Read more...



Field Trips and Birdwalks
Magee Marsh Trip Report

From May 12 - 14, 2012 a congenial group of 13 ASNV members birded Magee Marsh OH and the surrounding areas. The trip was led by Bev Smith and organized by Carol and Jay Hadlock. Lodging was at the beautiful Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Center in Maumee Bay State Park. By all accounts this was a wonderful trip with many life birds and many enjoyable moments had by all.



Buttermilk Creek Trail, Reston

Sunday, June 10, 7:30-10:30 AM

With meadow, forest and lake, this walk in spring always produces lots of birds.

Getting there:From Baron Cameron Ave. (Rt. 606) in Reston, go south on Wiehle Ave., turn left on North Shore Dr. and at the intersection with Ring Rd., turn into the parking lot for the pool and tennis courts.


Upper Glade Stream Valley, Reston
Sunday, July 15, 7:30-10:30 AM
Join Carolyn Williams and explore the upper reaches of the Glade Stream Valley.
Getting there: Meet at the Glade Pool and Tennis Courts parking lot.  From Reston Parkway, go east on Glade.  The parking lot will be on your left.


Advocacy Update
Conservation Depends on You!

Tell EPA to Cut Carbon Pollution: National Audubon asks every Auduboner to let the Environmental Protection Agency know that Auduboners support EPA's action to reduce carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions. EPA needs to hear from Auduboners before the June 25 deadline in support of their proposed carbon standards. Read more...

Save Dyke Marsh

Dyke Marsh, a freshwater tidal wetland on the Potomac River, is eroding six to eight feet or 1.5 to two acres per year a year on average.   "Analysis of field evidence, aerial photography, and published maps has revealed an accelerating rate of erosion and marsh loss at Dyke Marsh, which now appears to put at risk the short term survivability of this marsh," concluded a U.S. Geological Survey study.   At this rate, Dyke Marsh will be gone in 30-40 years. The marsh has lost at least 100 acres since 1937.  Read more...


President, U.S. Senate, House Races This Year

Along with a U.S. President,Virginia will elect a new U.S. Senator in November, to replace Senator Jim Webb who has announced he will not run again. We will also vote on members of the U.S. House of Representatives. These races present an opportunity for Auduboners to educate candidates about conservation issues and elect pro-conservation legislators. Few are talking about conservation issues at this time. It is up to us to inject our concerns into those races.

Wood Thrush Population in Decline

Lucille M. Brown Middle School's Team Wood Thrush has an article and video about the declining Wood Thrush population and how you can help save it.



Save Eagles

The following is from the American Bird Conservancy:


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has proposed a rule change that will result in more eagles being killed at wind energy projects. They have proposed providing wind companies permits that would legally allow them to kill majestic Bald and Golden Eagles throughout the United States for 30 years.


Please join ABC in telling Congress and the Fish and Wildlife Service to withdraw this dangerous proposed rule change and protect these iconic birds for future generations of Americans. Click here to take action.


Park Authority Director to Host Public Listening Forum

With parks ranging from quiet stream valley trails to upbeat fitness centers to rolling green golf courses and historic properties, the Fairfax County Park Authority provides recreational opportunities for a vast range of interest groups. Athletic field users may have different priorities than birders, or maybe they share many of the same concerns. All are invited to participate in an open discussion about parks with Fairfax County Park Authority Director John W. Dargle, Jr. at the Hunter Mill District Listening Forum on Thursday, June 21, 2012.  Read more...