June-July 2016

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In this Newsletter

  • President's Corner
  • Community Partnership with Northwest Federal Credit Union
  • Audubon Afternoon and Annual Meeting
  • Terra Centre Elementary
  • Classes
  • Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas Survey Techniques Workshop
  • Take Action
  • Birdwalks and Field Trips
  • Recurring 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 for more details or to reserve your space.

General Surveys

Meadowood on Mason Neck

  • June 22 (with Northern Virginia Bird Survey; starting at 6:30 am)
  • July 13

Occoquan Bay NWR

  • June 29
  • July 27

Butterfly and Dragonfly Surveys

  • Occoquan Regional Park - June 3 (with NVBS; starting at 6:20 am)*
  • Occoquan Bay NWR - June 10 (with NVBS; starting at 6:00 am)*
  • Meadowood - June 17
  • Metz Wetlands - June 24
  • Occoquan Regional Park - July 1
  • Occoquan Bay NWR - July 8
  • Meadowood - July 15
  • Metz Wetlands - July 22
  • Occoquan Regional Park - July 29
*Following the NVBS, the regularly scheduled butterfly-dragonfly surveys may continue until noon.

In addition to the regular surveys, volunteers are needed for the Occoquan Bay area Annual Butterfly Count, Saturday June 25, 8:00 am - 1:00 pm.

Any survey may be changed or canceled for weather, etc. up to an hour before the scheduled start.

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 elected officials to support actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 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 the ASNV office.

President's Corner

The Northern Mockingbirds are just so entertaining this time of year.  If they’re not chasing off jays and crows, they’re flashing their wings and displaying from the tops of the telephone poles (yes, we still have telephone poles in my neighborhood), or simply standing guard.  And singing, of course - from “blue jay” to “phoebe” to “carolina wren” to – was that a truck backing up and beeping?  (We have a lot of construction going on in my neighborhood, too.)

Last chance reminder to sign up for our “What is Audubon at Home, Anyway” workshop on Saturday, June 11.  This is a great opportunity to learn more about wildlife-friendly gardening, and how we can help the birds and the bees.

Our annual Membership Meeting and Audubon Afternoon will be on Sunday, June 12, at 3:00, at the National Wildlife Federation Building in Reston.  Mike Lott will be talking to us about the Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas project – and a reminder that we are also sponsoring a free workshop on Breeding Bird Atlas techniques and data collection on Saturday, June 18 

And we are offering a free butterfly workshop on June 23, in preparation for the annual Occoquan Bay area butterfly count on June 25 – hope you can join us! Additional information will be included in the "Classes" section of our website.

Join me in wishing our devoted and hard-working volunteer newsletter editor, Marilyn Gaizband, a well-deserved vacation!  We will not be issuing a newsletter in July, but will see you in August.    

Have a good couple of months. 
Carl Kikuchi

Community Partnership with Northwest Federal Credit Union 

We are pleased to announce that ASNV has joined with Northwest Federal Credit Union in their Community Partners Program.   NFCU is a not-for-profit, full service financial institution currently serving more than 200,000 members.  ASNV is one of several local nonprofits participating in this NFCU program.  We think this affords some new opportunities, both for our members and for the Chapter.  Our new relationship entitles ASNV members to open an account at Northwest Federal.   You can learn more about NFCU services and accounts here, or by calling them at 703-709-8900, or by visiting one of their 7 branches in Northern Virginia.

Audubon Afternoon and Annual Meeting

Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas 2


Sunday, June 12, 2016
3:00 – 5:00 pm
National Wildlife Federation Building
11100 Wildlife Center Dr., Reston, VA

The Second Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas (BBA2) is starting up this spring.  This will be a multi-year, state-wide survey.  Mike Lott is our Regional Coordinator for the BBA2 in Northern Virginia, and he will speak to us about the history and purpose of the Atlas.   He will also be available to answer any questions you might have about how you can participate in this project.  Click here for more information about BBA2.

This meeting will also be our annual meeting for our Chapter membership.  And we will also be announcing Birdathon winners!

Terra Centre Elementary

Home to ASNV Hog Island scholarship teacher, Morgan Occhuizzo, Terra Center kindergarten thorough 2nd grade students enjoyed nature instruction from U.S. Fish and Wildlife representative, Angelina Youst and ASNV representatives Joanne Bauer and  Mary McLean. 

The natural wildlife around the school in Burke provided few birds, but the children found European Starlings, Blue Jays, Eastern Bluebirds and American Robins. The team supplemented those birds by hiding members of the ASNV stuffed bird collection in the bushes. They also told bird stories about crows and gave bird song instruction for the Barred Owl. Older students enjoyed learning how to use the school’s new binoculars. Younger ones delighted in their “paper-roll” viewers. Morgan afterwards wrote, “There were kindergarteners making bird calls and searching for birds during recess this afternoon.” Another outdoor learning event, with upper grades, will be held on June 6th.


ASNV Field Trip to Great Dismal Swamp and Piney Grove Preserve

Sixteen birders brought their binoculars and love of nature on a May 6-8 weekend road trip to Great Dismal Swamp National Refuge and Piney Grove Preserve in southeastern Virginia.
The early Saturday shower that caught us as we walked Jericho Ditch was soon over. The rain and some subsequent sprinkles could not dampen our spirits. We moved on to explore the Washington Ditch area and drove along the Lake Drummond Wildlife Drive. Great Dismal Swamp contains wonderful habitat for birds butterflies, turtles, frogs and plant diversity. Our guide at the Swamp was Steve Coari, Field Trip Chair of Virginia Beach Audubon Society. Our first bird of the trip was a Yellow-billed Cuckoo, posing in the open for us right at the parking lot as we assembled. Other birds well-seen include White-eyed Vireo, Red headed Woodpecker, Spotted and Solitary Sandpiper, and Swainson’s Thrush. Among the warblers were Prairie, Pine, Black-and-white, Prothonotary, Northern Parula, and American Redstart. Unfortunately, the skulking Swainson’s Warblers remained mostly quiet, although they were heard by
some. Cedar Waxwings and Green Herons flew                 Red-cockaded Woodpecker - Dixie Sommers 
overhead. A flushed Chuck-will’s-widow was seen
by a few.  Read more 


What is Audubon at Home, Anyway?

Saturday, June 11, 9:00 am -3:00 pm

Are you curious about the program, not sure if you want to try it on your own but not quite ready to call for an Ambassador?  This workshop explores the principles of Audubon at Home in a backyard, real-life setting.  You will spend the day learning about gardening with native plants, composting, rain barrels, creating habitat for birds and pollinators.  You will also receive lots of helpful reference materials to take home with you. Come spend some time outside, enjoy the beauty of this amazing backyard habitat and observe its many wildlife visitors—it will be a fun and informative day.

Instructors:  Carol & Jay Hadlock
Location:  515 Alabama Drive, Herndon
Limit: 10                                                                        Scarlet Tanager in Back Yard Bath- Jay Hadlock
Cost:  $25 for ASNV members, $35 for non-members

Note: Participants must bring their own lunches. Drinks and brownies will be provided

Register Here.  Additional photos of Carol's and Jay's back yard here.


Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas Survey Techniques Workshop

A five-year project to document the breeding birds of Virginia is being launched this spring: the Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas.

Join us at Riverbend Park visitor center at 8 am Saturday June 18. We will be looking for breeding birds while you learn how to find and document evidence of breeding. You can take what you learn and put to work anywhere in Virginia over the next five years.  It's a lot more fun than regular birding and much more valuable for conservation. Leaders: Ashley Peele, Coordinator of the VABBA project, and Greg Butcher, ASNV Board Member.  
Free.  Limit 20.
Sign up here.

Take Action


Help Protect Bald Eagles

Comments due July 5

National Audubon urges all Auduboners to help protect our national symbol, the bald eagle.  In short, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed a draft rule to extend what is called a general permit from five years to 30, a proposal that NAS strongly opposes.  Read more

Conservation in Virginia

September 9-10, 2016

Save the date for the Virginia Environmental Assembly, Charlottesville, sponsored by the Virginia Conservation Network.  At this event, you can learn all about the issues and advocacy strategies.

Fairfax County Parks Policy and Needs

The Fairfax County Park Authority in May published their needs assessment final report, an analysis begun in 2014.  It recommends capital investments in the park system based on data “that the Park Authority will continue using for years to come,” said the FCPA release.  Read more


Lake Accotink Park Master Plan

The Fairfax County Park Authority is now “studying ways to make [Lake Accotink Park] more environmentally and financially sustainable” by revising the master plan.  Click here to see the plans. If an Auduboner would like to work on this for the chapter, contact Glenda Booth


Birdwalks and Field Trips


Clarks Crossing, W&OD trail, Vienna, VA

Bluebirds, tanagers, and orioles, oh, my!  Those are just a few of the species we often find on this early summer walk along woods edges and stream crossings. Sponsored by Audubon Society of Northern Virginia.  Dixie Sommers leads.

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.

Sunday June 5
7:30 to 10:30 AM

Lower Glade Stream Valley, Reston, VA

We’ll be looking for juveniles out of the nest, and possibly some late nesters in this mostly shady stream valley, one of Reston’s hotspots. Matt Bender will lead. Sponsored by The Bird Feeder of Reston and the Reston Association.

Getting there: From I-66 west, take 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 and meet the leader at the corner of Glade Drive and Twin Branches Drive.

Sunday, June 12
7:30 to 10:30 AM

Dyke's Marsh

Join Larry Cartwright on his “home turf” of Dyke Marsh to look for summer breeding birds along the river and the woodland path. Sponsored by the Northern Virginia Bird Club.

Getting there: From Alexandria, take GW Parkway south.  Cross I-495; continue 1.2 miles to Belle Haven Park entrance on the left.  Meet at the south parking lot. 6401 George Washington Memorial Parkway, Alexandria,  22307

Wednesday, June 15
8:30  to 11:30 AM

Buttermilk Creek, Reston, VA
This walk goes through meadow, woods, and along the back side of Lake Fairfax and will offer a nice variety of birds.  Most of the path is natural and along the lake it can be muddy and there are tree roots to negotiate.  Proper footwear is important. Sponsored by The Bird Feeder of Reston and Reston Association. 

Getting there: From Baron Cameron, turn left onto Wiehle Ave, and then left on the first North Shore Dr.; if coming from the Toll Rd. or Sunset Hills, turn right on Wiehle and then right on the second North Shore Dr. to reach Ring Rd. We will meet in the parking lot across from the swimming pool at the intersection of Ring Road and North Shore Drive. 11032 Ring Road, Reston.

Sunday, July 17
7:30 to 10:30 AM

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA

We’ll enjoy the gardens as we look for our resident summer birds and maybe a few early returning migrants. Jean Tatalias leads. Entrance fees apply: $5.00 general and $2.50 senior. Sponsored by ASNV and Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

Getting there: The gardens are located off of Beulah Road, between Route 7 and Route 123, south of the Dulles Access Road. From the Beltway, take Route 7 toward Tysons Corner. Drive 4.5 miles west on Route 7, turn left onto Beulah Road and drive 2.5 miles to the gardens entrance on the right. Meet in the visitors center.

Saturday, August 13
7:30 to 10:30
Entrance fees apply 

Twin Branches Trail, Reston, VA

A shady trail in the heat of August is just the thing for a late summer birdwalk.  We might even find some early southbound migrants.  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. The trail begins at Twin Branches Rd. at Glade Drive.  Please park along Glade and meet at the corner of Glade and Twin Branches.

Sunday, August 21
7:30 to 10:30 AM 

Recurring Bird Walks

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

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→