June 2015

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In this Newsletter

  • President's Corner
  • Audubon Afternoon
  • Annual Meeting and Celebration of Citizen Science
  • National Aububon Convention
  • Comes to Leesburg, VA
  • Volunteer At The 2015 National Audubon Convention
  • Audubon at Home Matters
  • Butterfly Identification Workshop
  • Annual Butterfly Count
  • Advocacy Update
  • Help Preserve Habitat
  • Field Trips - 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 via email or phone (703-567-3555) for more details or to reserve your space.

General Surveys

Meadowood on Mason Neck

  • June 10
  • July 15

Occoquan Bay NWR

  • June 24
  • July 29

Butterfly and Dragonfly Surveys

The butterfly/dragonfly surveys started up in April. The time is 8:30am - 12:00pm. The location and dates for May are:
  • Metz Wetlands - June 5
  • Occoquan Regional Park - June 12 (starting 6:30 am for NVBS)
  • Occoquan Bay NWR - June 19 (starting 6:00 am for NVBS)
  • Meadowood - June 26 (starting 6:30 am for NVBS)
  • Metz Wetlands July 3
Note:  Early start times of certain June surveys to accommodate the Northern Virginia Bird Survey.

Occoquan Bay-area Butterfly Count - Saturday, July 27, starting 8:00 am (call for details).

Make a Difference!


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

Nothing says “summer” to me like the cool, lazy lilt of the Eastern Wood-Pewee drifting down from the canopy.  Pee-a- wee.  More often heard than seen, and not one of our showier birds, even if you do catch a glimpse of one – but then, glitz is overrated, isn’t it?  Take the time for a walk in the woods, or even just a walk under the tall trees in your neighborhood. 

Congratulations to ASNV Board member Mary McLean, who was recently recognized with the Arlington County  Bill Thomas Outstanding Park Service Volunteer Award for 2014.  The award cites her excellent habitat and native plant restoration and education work at Tuckahoe Park and at Tuckahoe Elementary School.  See more at http://www.virginiamasternaturalist.org/home/laurels-spring-2015.

And please join us for our annual Membership meeting on Sunday, June 14, 2015, from 3 to 5, at the National Wildlife Federation Building in Reston.  Jim Waggener and Dr. Leslie Ries will be speaking to us about our long-running wildlife surveys in the Occoquan Bay area, and about how this citizen science data can be used to explore larger scale environmental issues, including climate change.  We will also be holding Officer and Board of Directors elections.  Dixie Sommers has been nominated for the office of Treasurer, and Casey Pittrizzi and Diana Handy have been nominated for the Board of Directors.   And we’ll be awarding Birdathon prizes! 

Hope to see you on the 14th.
Have a good month. 
Carl Kikuchi

Audubon Afternoon

Annual Meeting and
Celebration of Citizen Science

With Jim Wanggener and Dr. Leslie Ries

Sunday, June 14, 2015, 3-5 PM

National Wildlife Federation
11100 Wildlife Center Drive
Reston VA 20190

For 25 years Jim Waggener has led comprehensive surveys that document biodiversity in the Occoquan Bay Count Circle. His presentation will focus on the birds, butterflies, dragonflies and plants that have painstakingly been documented since 1989. We’ll learn about emerging trends, the importance of citizen science and glimpse into the future of the program.

Also joining us will be Dr. Leslie Ries. Leslie is currently a Research Scientist at University of Maryland.  She did field research on butterflies for 10 years, focused on how landscape configuration impacts butterfly populations.  She now works primarily with data coming from citizen science monitoring programs and explores large-scale range issues and environmental drivers, especially climate.  She works closely with many butterfly monitoring programs to help them collect, manage and share their data by developing online platforms for data entry and storage.  Leslie is moving to Georgetown University this fall where she will be an Assistant Professor in the Biology Department.


National Aububon Convention

Comes to Leesburg, VA

The National Audubon Society is hosting its biennial leadership convention in our own backyard at Landsdowne Resort on July 10-13. The convention promises “four days of exciting field trips, inspiring speakers, in-depth hands-on workshops and the camaraderie only Audubon can provide”. Field trips will be held before and after the weekend and cover sites from the Blue Ridge to the Delaware shore and many places in between at battlefields, wineries, the Smithsonian Natural History Museum and the National Zoo. Workshops will cover a wide range of topics including effective advocacy, engaging new constituencies, climate change, building bird-friendly communities and using new apps for birding. For a full list of convention topics and registration information visit http://www.audubonconvention.org/

Volunteer At The 2015 National Audubon Convention

The convention planners are looking for community volunteers to assist with welcoming guests, setting up meetings, arranging packets, and many other tasks.   There are some reciprocal benefits to volunteering.  If you are interested, please send an email to Pam Nicholls prnicholls@aol.com or Lynn Tennefoss at ltennefoss@audubon.org with your name, email address, and phone number

Audubon at Home Matters

The spring has seen a wave of outdoor events, plant sales, presentations, and partner meetings with a large number of volunteers who share our goal of creating healthy natural wildlife habitat in our yards and communities. ASNV has developed a valuable partnership with the new regional native plant campaign, www.plantnovanatives.org, that promotes Audubon at Home and has increased the size of our audience, while Audubon at Home serves the campaign as an important part of its outreach strategy.

Read more ...

Butterfly Identification Workshop

The sight of butterflies fluttering around on a warm day is one of the most iconic signs of summer.  These beautiful insects usually only live for a few weeks as adults, but they make quite an impression while they are in their full glory.  There is a large variety of butterfly species in our area and we are going to census them on June 27 during the ASNV Butterfly Count.  In preparation, Laura McDonald and Larry Meade will be co-teaching a butterfly workshop focusing on identifying butterflies in Northern Virginia. The classroom portion of the workshop will be on Thursday, June 25 and the field trip portion will be in conjunction with the count on June 27.

Read More... 

Annual Butterfly Count

Saturday, June 27, 2015

This year's Annual Butterfly Count for the Occoquan Bay area will be held Saturday, June 27, 2015. Contact Jim Waggener, (703) 567-3555 or jwagge3093@aol.com for details. 

Read more ...

Advocacy Update


Help Preserve Habitat

Comment By June 5th

Auduboners have an opportunity to help state officials preserve habitat by commenting on the Virginia Wildlife Action Plan prepared by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF). The draft plan identifies key species and habitats in need of conservation and implements projects and research needed to address those issues.  A plan is due to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by October 1, 2015.

Read more ...

Our Future Electeds, June 9 Primaries

Campaigns, primaries and elections offer many opportunities for Auduboners to educate candidates about key conservation issues.

Primaries to nominate candidates for various offices in Virginia will be held on June 9.  The candidates for the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates are here:  http://elections.virginia.gov/Files/CandidatesAndPACs/Primary/527/2015-GACombined-527.pdf. To find out about offices for which a primary or an election will be held this year, visit the Virginia Department of Elections at http://elections.virginia.gov/index.php/media/calendars-schedules/special.html.

Virginians will elect all members of the state legislature, the General Assembly, on November 3, as well as people for some local offices.


A New Park in Southeastern Fairfax County

Auduboners can help make a new park a reality, a property known as the Fairchild property on U.S. 1 in southeastern Fairfax County.  To support this park, you can sign the petition posted here.

Read more ...

Comment on Virginia's Wildlife Action Plan

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) is seeking comments on the state's wildlife action plan. Comments are due by June 5 at 5 p.m.

Read more ...

How to Control Invasive Plants

Our national parks, like Turkey Run, Great Falls and Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve are riddled with non-native plants, most of which provide little support for birds and wildlife.  Here's a chance for Auduboners to weigh in on healthier habitats in our region.  The National Park Service is seeking comments on their Invasive Plant Management Plan/Environmental Assessment (IMP/EA) for Washington-area national parks at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=55424.  Comments are due by June 10.

Read more ...


Field Trips - Bird Walks


Clarks Crossing, W&OD trail, Vienna, VA

Walk part of the W&OD hike/bike trail to look for summer resident warblers, indigo buntings, and orioles in the fields and trees along the path. Easy walking, with part on the dirt trail parallel to the paved path and away from its busier traffic. Dixie Sommers will lead.

Getting there: From I-66, exit to Nutley Street, North (Rte 243). Go about 1 mile and turn right to go north/east on Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road) toward Vienna. In 1.3 miles turn left onto Beulah Road. In 1.6 miles turn left onto Clarks Crossing Road and meet in the parking lot at the end of the road.

Thursday, June 4

7:30 AM to 10:30 AM

Lower Glade Stream Valley, Reston, VA

Joanne and David Bauer will lead this walk through their “backyard.” They know where to find the Barred Owls and Red-shouldered Hawks, as well as many other summer residents. Sponsored by the Bird Feeder of Reston and the Reston Association.

Getting there: From I-66 west, to exit 60 to go north on Rte 123. Turn left on Hunters Mill Road/ Route 674. Turn left on Lawyers Road, Route 673. Turn right on Twin Branches Road. Park near intersection with Glade Drive and meet leaders at the corner.

Sunday, June 14

7:30 to 10:30 AM

Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship, Purcellville, VA

Come west and experience this lovely sanctuary for Loudoun County wildlife with meadows, streams, and woodlands near the Appalachian Trail. Co-sponsored with the Loudoun County Wildlife Conservancy.

Getting there: Take Route 7 or the toll road to Leesburg, Va. From there, go west on Route 7, right on Route 9 and then right on Route 671, Harpers Ferry Road. Go 6 miles to the Blue Ridge Center entrance on the left, just past the Neersville Fire Station. Meet at the Visitor Center. 11661 Harpers Ferry Road.

Saturday, June 27

8:00 AM

Twin Branches Trail, Reston, VA

This trail goes through stream valley and mature forest, and surprises often turn up here. Jenny Vick will lead. Sponsored by the Bird Feeder of Reston and the Reston Association.

Getting there: From I-66 west, to exit 60 to go north on Rte 123. Turn left on Hunters Mill Road/ Route 674. Turn left on Lawyers Road, Route 673. Turn right on Twin Branches Road. Park along Glade Drive near the intersection with Twin Branches. Meet at the corner.

Sunday, July 12

7:30 AM – 10:30 AM

Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, VA

Along the wetlands we’ll try to catch some fall migrating shore birds and enjoy this rich habitat of woods, wetland, and stream. Harry Glasgow leads.

Getting there: From I-195, take Route 1 south for 3 miles. Turn right on Lockheed Blvd. and in 0.5 miles turn left into park entrance. 3701 Lockheed Blvd. Meet in parking lot.

Saturday, August 1

8:00 AM

Note the dates:

Reston walk, Sunday August 9 and Meadowlark Park walk, Sunday August 23. More information coming in the July newsletter.




Recurring Field Trips

Several parks in the area have established year-round weekly birdwalks. These walks are not run by ASNV, but may be of interest to ASNV members.

Location Time Leader

Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve

2nd Saturday every month, 8:00 AM

Various www.bansheereeksnp.org

Dyke Marsh

Sundays, 8:00am



Eakin Park

Mondays, 7:00 AM March-Nov.,
7:30 AM Dec - Feb

Carolyn Williams

Great Falls, Virginia

Sundays, 8:00am


Huntley Meadows Park

Mondays, 7:00am (Mar-Oct)
8:00 am (Nov-Feb)

Harry Glasgow

Occoquan & Meadowood Wildlife Surveys

Monthly Scheduled Wednesday mornings.

Jim Waggener

Various Locations

Twice weekly walks, including most Saturdays

Northern Virginia Bird Club, http://www.nvabc.org/trips.htm




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...

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