June 2014
In This Issue
President's Message
Audubon Afternoon - Backpacks
Wolf Trap Bird Survey
Butterfly Checklist
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
  
  • June 25 (6:00 a.m.*)
  • July 30     
Meadowood on Mason Neck  
  • June 11 (6:30 a.m.*) 
  • July 16 
*Early start for N. VA. Bird Survey
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.)

  • June 13 - Occoquan Bay NWR 
  • June 20 - Meadowood
  • June 27 - Metz Wetlands   
Annual Butterfly Count, Saturday, June 28, 8:00 a.m. at Occoquan Bay NWR 
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.
 
Message from the President

The upcoming Audubon Afternoon on June 15 will include election of new directors to the ASNV board. The slate includes Greg Butcher, Jennifer Crawford, Dirck Harris, Ellen Jacobson, and Melanie La Force. We welcome the expertise and new energy they bring and are grateful for their willingness to lead. At the same time, we will be losing two valuable board members, Bruce Johnson and John Lovaas, and electing our new ASNV president and vice president, Carl Kikuchi and Joanne Bauer. If there are other nominees for the board at the meeting, we will happy to include them as well.

 

ASNV presents a wonderful opportunity for all of us who are interested in local environmental stewardship to get involved in so many ways to learn something new, to enjoy the outdoors, to extend our network and serve our community. Our annual Northern Virginia Bird Survey, now going for 20 years, takes place this month. Other citizen science surveys have been going on since 1989. In fact, Laura McDonald's recent research revealed that the Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge survey led by Jim Waggener, is the second oldest of its kind in the U.S.   We invite beginning birders and aspiring naturalists of any age to help us shape an organization that serves your interests and makes a difference.  

 

I will be stepping aside this month as ASNV president in order to devote more time to Audubon at Home in Northern Virginia. This program has made good progress over the last three years in creating a well regarded outreach initiative in community-based conservation that is unique among National Audubon Society's nationwide projects under Audubon at Home. Much of the credit for this goes to our partners, Arlington Regional Master Naturalists, Fairfax Master Naturalists, Prince William Master Gardeners, and Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy. These organizations are the source of most of our volunteer Audubon at Home ambassadors who visit homeowners, schools, and other properties to certify Audubon at Home Wildlife Sanctuaries. It's no secret that we are trying to infiltrate every neighborhood in the region! I hope you'll continue to support all we do, and please be in touch with me or other board members, or contact our office at any time with your feedback or suggestions.

 

"Garden as if life depended on it!" Terry

 

Audubon Afternoon & Annual Meeting
Backpacks for Birds: Manufacturing Tracking Devices to Aid in Bird Research
Sunday, June 15, 3:00 - 5:00 PM   

National Wildlife Federation

11100 Wildlife Center Drive
Reston VA 20190 

 

Join us for this interesting and educational program that will explore a topic of increasing importance in our efforts to learn and understand more about the lives of our feathered friends.

 

Since 2011, Vektortek, LLC, located in Ashburn, VA, has focused on the development and manufacturing of tracking devices for the wildlife research biologist. The business was started to fill a demand for low-cost hardware capable of collecting and transmitting high volumes of data. By piggy-backing on a worldwide cellular network, they are able to offer new opportunities to collect and distribute data that were previously impossible or cost-prohibitive with satellite solutions.

 

Our presenters, Fred Briggs, founder and CEO of the company, and Ted Markson, CTO at Vektortek, will provide product descriptions, tell about their target customers, as well as show some unit data currently in the field. Members will have an opportunity to see and handle demo units to get a feel for the tracking devices. Fred and Ted will have some stories to tell, and promise to keep the technical talk to a minimum!

 

We will also be voting on new Officers and Directors for our Board, and we'll be announcing Birdathon results and winners!

Wolf Trap Bird Survey to
Continue for Second Year

ASNV volunteers have successfully completed a year of surveying birds at Wolf Trap National Park. They have identified 114 bird species on the property, many of which were confirmed or probable breeders. Highlights of the year include breeding Barred Owls and 19 species of warblers seen during migration.

 

The survey was requested by Wolf Trap management, and ASNV has now provided an initial bird checklist to the park for distribution to its visitors. Additionally, all the data has been entered into eBird and will be provided to the National Park Service for inclusion in their data base.

 

The survey has involved over 30 volunteers, working in four teams, and making weekly or biweekly visits to the park throughout the year. The volunteers have enjoyed their efforts - despite the occasional need to bird in cold, rainy, or windy conditions - and most have agreed to continue the survey for another year. A few new volunteers could be used to sustain the ranks, however, so if you are interested and have the time to commit to regular visits to this attractive suburban park, please contact ASNV at info@audubonva.org.

 

 

 
Butterfly Checklist Now Available
Limited Quantity!

ASNV proudly presents the first butterfly checklist dedicated to the Occoquan Bay Count Circle. For more than two decades, a local group of citizen scientists, led by Jim Waggener, have been working diligently to document bird, butterfly, dragonfly and plant populations. Their dedicated efforts have provided a vast repository of data, thousands of records that document the diversity of species that call Northern Virginia home. This provisional checklist contains 87 species of butterflies and skippers, designed for multiple surveys and fits in your pocket! Contact the office today for your copy info@audubonva.org . (Please send $1.00 to cover the cost of printing mailing to 11100 Wildlife Dr. Ste 100, Reston, VA 20190). 

Field Trips - Bird Walks

Buttermilk Creek, Reston, VA
Sunday, June 15, 7:30-10:30 AM
Join Jay and Carol Hadlock as we follow this trail through meadow, forest and the backside of Lake Fairfax.
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.
 

Advocacy Update
Conservation Depends On You

Climate Change: Congress Should Not Block EPA

Two new reports show how climate change is affecting us all and how greenhouse gas levels continue to rise. The National Climate Assessment profiles how every region of the U.S. and every sector of the economy are affected by climate change. These impacts, whether from drought, floods, wildfire, pests or sea level rise, will worsen as atmospheric carbon levels increase. And greenhouse gas levels continue to rise, as documented in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Annual Greenhouse Gas Index.

 Read more... 

 

Help Chart Virginia's Energy Future

Virginia is at an energy crossroads. We can choose to maintain the status quo of energy production focused on unearthing our energy fuels or we can choose to reduce air pollution, minimize climate change effects and use modern technology to develop clean energy solutions.

Please join the Virginia Conservation Network, the Virginia League of Conservation Voters Education Fund and our local partners as we explore Virginia's path to a clean energy future. Most importantly you can find out what you can do to promote clean and renewable energy policies here in Virginia.

 Read more...   

 

 

Tysons Park Concept Plan; Comment by June 16

The Fairfax County Park Authority has published the draft Tysons Park System Concept Plan to guide future park development.   You can read it here and send comments until June 16, 2014.

 

Here's the Fairfax County Park Authority's description:

"Creating an urban park system as Tysons transforms to the county's downtown will require vision, collaboration and a plan. A connected network of urban parks will help to distinguish Tysons from other urban areas and bring benefits to the local economy as well as improving the quality of life. To help ensure that happens, the Park Authority embarked upon an effort to develop a comprehensive park system concept plan that will complement and refine the existing Tysons Urban Center Plan.

 Read more...   

 

Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute Program

VNRLI has been changing the way Virginia does business since 1999.  It has graduated over 340 Virginia professionals who are providing leadership in their communities by addressing contentious natural resource issues through collaborative approaches. Consider joining this unusual cadre of leaders!

 

Its leadership program consists of three-day sessions in six different locations around Virginia to focus on current and difficult environmental issues. They use a proven mix of mini-lectures, experiential role plays and exercises, stakeholder panel discussions and field trips on specific environmental hot topics to build your competencies in environmental issues, collaborative problem solving, and leadership. Applications are due June 13, 2014.

 

Read more about our program on their website.

 

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...

Meadowood Ecological Report

Nearly eighteen years of careful examination of Meadowood and its neighboring lands and waters has substantiated expectations that this area contains natural habitats of exceptional value to the native plants and wildlife (as highlighted in this site's designation by the National Audubon Society as one of Virginia's Important Bird Areas).  

 

To date, scores of volunteers have documented 194 bird species, 74 butterflies, 69 dragonflies, hundreds of other wildlife species and well over 500 (predominately native) plants. Such lists are expected to grow as field work continues. The combination of this site's open fields (some in active conversion to native meadows), healthy forests and wetlands, and Point of View's unique setting on Thompson Creek and Belmont Bay establishes Meadowood as one of Northern Virginia's premier ecological areas.

   

A comprehensive report on the Meadowood Ecological Area for 2014 can be found here. It provides some background about Meadowood, as well as checklists of birds, butterflies, dragonflies, damselflies, grasshoppers, katydids, crickets, and other wildlife.

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...