March 2013
In This Issue
Audubon Afternoon
LEAPP Classes
Advocacy Update
Field Trips - Bird Walks
Other News

Upcoming Event

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
  
  • Mar 27
  • Apr 24      
Meadowood on Mason Neck
  • Mar 13
  • Apr 10       

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.)
  • Apr 5 - Metz Wetlands
  • Apr 12 - Occoquan Regional Park
  • Apr 19 - Occoquan Bay NWR
  • Apr 26 - Meadowood 

Eakin Park Bird Walk
Hidden Oaks Nature Center (FCPA) sponsors weekly bird walks along the Accotink Stream Valley. Mondays,
7:00 AM March-Nov.;
7:30 AM Dec - Feb.


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.

Research Plant Value to Wildlife. ASNV is looking 
for a Virgina master naturalist, or other interested volunteer, willing to research the wildlife value of specific native plants. 

More information about these and other opportunities can be found here.

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.
 
Climate Change and Wildlife

Audubon Afternoon

Sunday, April 7, 2013, 3:00p - 5:00p

Potomac Overlook Regional Park

 

Dr. Chris Crosiar will speak to us about climate change and the effects it is having on wildlife. Dr. Crosiar researches the interactions of the complex adaptive systems of climate, water, energy, and food, and their impacts on people. Last August, she was trained and certified as a Climate Leader in the Climate Leadership Corps of the Climate Reality Project. The corps involves 1,000 volunteers worldwide who seek to inform the public about climate change science. For more information on this project, please visit http://climaterealityproject.org.

 

 
LEAPP Classes

The LEAPP® (Learn, Enjoy, Appreciate, Preserve, and Protect) program offers Northern Virginians the opportunity to learn more about the natural world and be informed, active stewards for its care and protection.  Since its inception in 1999, students have found that LEAPP classes are fun and personally rewarding.  Don't miss out - register early!  Please note that registration is not complete until payment is received. (For Master Naturalists:  All workshops have been approved for Advanced Training hours.) To register, contact ASNV at 703-438-6008 or at info@audubonva.org.

How to Lead a Bird (or Nature) Walk  
Saturday, March 23, 8:00 AM-Noon
Do you have a favorite nature spot that you return to time and again? Have you ever thought you'd like to share that spot with others but feel you lack the skills to lead a walk? If so, you are invited to attend a session with Carol Hadlock, ASNV's Coordinator of Bird Walks and Field Trips. Carol will share tips that she uses every time she leads a bird walk, from planning the where, when, what and how, to taking care of your group. This information can be applied to any walk, whether birds, wildflowers, butterflies, etc. The morning will consist of a class session of 1 to1 ½ hours, followed by a walk in the park.
Location: Riverbend Park Visitor Center (by the river; not the Nature Center), 8700 Potomac Hills St., Great Falls, VA.
Cost: $10 for members and $15 for non-members 
Reservations required. Call the ASNV office at 703-438-6008 or e-mail info@audubonva.org.
 
Audubon At Home and Beyond  
Saturday, June 1, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
 
Carol and Jay Hadlock's backyard will be your classroom for this workshop, where you will learn to put the principles of Audubon at Home to work in your yard, creating a healthier environment for you, your family, and pets, while at the same time giving birds and pollinators a helping hand.  Things should be popping in the garden, the birds will be singing, and outdoor activities will make this a fun, informative day. 
Location:  515 Alabama Drive, Herndon, VA
Cost:  $30 for members and $35 for non-members.  Covers class materials. Bring a bag lunch and drinks will be provided.
Reservations required. Call the ASNV office at 703-438-6008 or e-mail info@audubonva.org. Maximum number of participants: 10
Instructor:  Carol Hadlock is an ASNV Master Naturalist and National Wildlife Federation Habitat Steward.

 2012 ASNV Northern Virginia Bird Survey
 

The 19th year of the Northern Virginia Bird Survey (NVBS), ASNV's comprehensive breeding bird study, was completed last June. Many thanks to everyone who participated. Forty-nine volunteers (including thirteen new to the NVBS) surveyed six hundred twenty-nine points at over twenty-five sites and counted 9,207 birds representing ninety-five species.Since the survey began, 184,348 birds have been counted and with the addition of 5,485 new Excel records, the database now contains101,600records each with detailed count information for a single species at a single survey point. One new site was added in 2012, Fairfax County Park Authority's Old Colchester Park and Preserve. No new bird species were added so the number for the entire run of the survey remains 151.  Read more... 

 

Advocacy Update
Conservation Depends On You
More Parks and Conservation?   Now is the time to weigh in with your local governments as they begin work on their budgets. Auduboners can advocate for more funding for natural resource conservation and restoration. If you can help in your jurisdiction, contact Glenda Booth at gbooth123@aol.com.

Saving Trees: ASNV sent a letter to the Northern Virginia Congressional delegation urging them to save the old growth trees at Arlington National Cemetery that are threatened by proposedexpansion of the cemetery.  The land at issue is adjacent to the Arlington House Woods section of documented old growth forest, a mature forested area with trees dating about 130 to 150 years old. Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) sent a letter calling for a full Environmental Impact Statement. 

 Loudoun Great Blue Heron Rookery:   ASNVer Bill Brown testified at a Loudoun County hearing on a proposed minor league baseball stadium between Sterling and Leesburg, near the intersection of Routes 28 and 7, within half a mile of a large Great Blue Heron Rookery.He spoke infavor of maintaining protections for the herons and the natural habitat that were included in earlier agreements approved by the Loudoun Board of Supervisors.   


New DOI Secretary: President Barack Obama has nominated Sally Jewell as the next U.S. Secretary of the Interior. National Audubon's Mike Daulton offered this endorsement:  "Audubon welcomes Sally Jewell's leadership to the top job in America dedicated to preserving our great national heritage. Sally Jewell received Audubon's Rachel Carson Award for good reason: She is a dedicated conservationist and a strong leader who understands that protecting our natural world goes hand in hand with a strong American economy."

 

Jewell is president and chief executive officer of Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), an outdoor gear and apparel retailer. If confirmed, she would replace outgoing Secretary Ken Salazar.

 

 
Field Trips - Bird Walks
 

Fraser Park/NVRP, Great Falls, VA

Saturday, March 2, 2013, 1:00

Vernal Pools are critical breeding habitat for spotted salamanders and wood frogs.  Join us as we search for these amphibians and signs of their breeding activity along the Potomac River floodplain near the town of Great Falls. 

 

Bles Park, Loudoun County

Saturday, March 2, 2013, 7:30 AM

Adjacent to the Potomac River and Broad Run, this park can turn up some interesting things. Meet leader, Bill Brown, in the parking lot.

Getting there: From Sterling, travel west on Rt. 7 towards Leesburg. Approximately 0.7 miles west of the intersection of Rt. 7 and Rt. 28, exit right off of Rt. 7 onto Loudoun Co. Parkway. Turn right onto George Washington Blvd, and then left onto Riverside Pkwy. Continue for about 1 mile and look for Bles Park on your right.

 

New! Elizabeth Mills Riverfront Park,  

Loudoun County

Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 7:30-10:30 AM

Looking for a new place to explore? Jenny Vick and Bill Brown have been scouting this new park for some time and are ready to introduce birders to the interesting things that can be found here. The habitat is mostly riparian woods, along the Potomac Heritage Trail. Meet in the parking lot.

Getting there: Traveling on Rt. 7 towards Leesburg, turn right (north) on Landsdowne Blvd. After about a quarter mile, turn right onto Riverpoint Dr. and right again on Squirrel Ridge Place. As you approach the end of the cul de sac, turn right and then left to reach the parking lot.

  

 

Wood Frogs at Fraser Preserve, Great Falls. VA

Thursday, Mar 7, 1:00 PM  Postponed to March 7, due to cold weather 

This is a Nature Conservancy property with some great vernal pools. Sheryl Pollack will lead this walk.

Meeting Place: at metal gate entrance to the gravel road serving Fraser and Calvary Baptist Church at the end of Springvale Rd.

Directions: Take Route 193 South, (Georgetown Pike). Turn Right on Springvale Road, Route 674. The road takes a Z: It's all called Springvale Rd. First turn left on Rt. 603 (when you see Chez Francais on the left side of the road). In 20 yards take a right on Rt. 755 and continue to the end of Springvale Rd.  Turn left on Allenwood Lane and park, being considerate of the residents' mailboxes and driveways.

Preparations: This is a long walk on gravel roads and forest paths to the Potomac River floodplain. Wear hiking boots, warm clothes and binoculars. No pets.

Questions: Email Sheryl Pollock (sopol@yahoo.com)  - in case of inclement weather call 703-400-8225 cell.

The Big Night is unpredictable. Last year's mating party was Feb. 28 at Fraser Preserve. In the event the weather stays cold, we may need to try again March 7 at 1 pm. There certainly will be Spring Peepers chorusing. We MUST stay on designated paths.

  
 
Hidden Pond Nature Center, Springfield, VA

Saturday, March 9, 2013, 8:00 AM

This is Casey Pittrizzi's "old" park, before he moved to Potomac Overlook. He will know all the right places to look for birds.

Getting there: The address of the park is 8511 Greeley Blvd., Springfield, VA.  

 

New! Ashburn Park, Ashburn, VA

Wednesday, March 13, 7:30-10:30 AM

We will explore a quiet neighborhood park, which includes open area, a wooded streamside trail and a small pond that often holds surprises.

Getting there: From Rt. 28, turn west on to Waxpool Rd. and continue for approximately 3.7 miles (the road will change names to Farmwell Rd.). At Ashburn Rd. (not Ashburn Village Rd.) turn right and continue approximately 0.9 miles. Turn left on Partlow Rd. which leads directly to the park.

 

American Toads at Meadowood, Lorton, VA

Thursday, March 14, 1:00 PM

No charge, but reservations required

This toad prefers stagnant ponds. We hope to be able to see them laying their eggs.  Wear hiking boots; bring water and binoculars.

Getting there: Meet at the horse barn parking lot near the BLM Field Station Office. Take Rt. 1 south past Lorton Rd. Turn left on Gunston Rd., Rt. 242 (there will be a brown sign for Gunston Hall, Pohick Bay, etc. on the right side of the road.) Pass Old Colchester Rd. and Belmont Rd. and the elementary school. Meadowood will be on the right.  Turn right at the main gate entrance and continue to the horse barns to park.  We will carpool to Enchanted Pond.  There are Don's Johns there. Register with Sheryl Pollack, sopol@yahoo.com or 703-400-8225.

 

Snakeden Stream Valley Park, Reston

Sunday, March 17, 2013, 7:30-10:30 AM

Meet Carolyn Williams at the Nature House for a walk through the woods and the stream valley.

Getting there: The Nature House is located on Glade Drive, east of Reston Parkway.

 
Budburst at Riverbend Park, Great Falls, VA

Friday, March 22, 8:00 AM

No charge, but reservations required

We will follow the park's tree map and focus on new leaves and early flowering trees.   We will likely get in on some early flowering spring ephemera wildflowers and their pollinators. Wear hiking boots; bring binoculars and water.

Getting there: From Rt. 193 east of the village of Great Falls, take Riverbend Rd. to Jeffery Rd. and turn into the main park entrance. Meet at the boat ramp. Register with Sheryl Pollack at sopol@yahoo.com or 703 400 8225.

 

Early Spring Wildflowers at Meadowlark Gardens, Vienna, VA

Friday, March 29, 10:00 AM

No charge, but reservations required

We will enjoy the early flowers in the Potomac Valley Native Plant Collection. This is an easy walk on paved trails, but a bit up and down. Hepatica, Bloodroot and Trillium should be blooming. Bring your family! There is an entrance fee, but a group discount may apply for us. Wear shoes you won't mind getting a little dirty-we'll be on mulched surfaces part of the time.

Getting there: The gardens are located off Beulah Rd. between Rt. 7 and Rt. 123, south of the Dulles Access Rd. From the Beltway at Tyson's Corner, take Rt. 7 west, 4.5 miles to Beulah Rd. Turn left and go 2.5 miles to the gardens entrance after the bridge.  Register with Sheryl Pollack at sopol@yahoo.com or 703-400-8225. 

 

Bull Run Regional Park Swamp Stomp

Saturday, March 30, 2013, 7:00-9:00 PM

Join naturalist Casey Pittrizzi on a night hike and search for the fascinating amphibian life of Bull Run Regional Park. Find salamanders, spring peepers, woods frogs and more. Rubber boots and warm clothes recommended. Adults and children age 6 and older. Please call 703-528-5406 to make a reservation and get directions.

Getting there: The park is located at 7700 Bull Run Drive, Centreville, VA 20121.

 

Migration Mornings at Potomac Overlook Regional Park

Every Saturday in April, starting April 6, 8-10:00 AM

Join Naturalist Casey Pittrizzi every Saturday morning in April to explore the park and see what bird species are arriving and leaving during the migration season. Every week will bring us new surprises as we scope out our local birds. Casey will demonstrate basic bird identification techniques by using songs, call notes, and behavior. Call 703-528-5406 to make a reservation. Meet at the nature center.   

    

Horsepen Run Stream Valley Park, Oak Hill, VA                     

Saturday, April 6, 2013, 8:00 AM.

No charge, but registration required

Stream valleys in Fairfax County are protected with buffers providing habitat close to home for bird and wildflower lovers. This area harbors Bloodroot, Slender Toothwort and Trout Lily.

Getting there: From the Fairfax County Parkway take West Ox Rd. west. Then turn left onto McLearen Rd. Turn right onto Centerville Rd. Turn right onto Lake Shore Dr. (past the storage facility). Park on the right where the path begins. OR take Rt 28 to McLearen Rd. Turn left onto Centerville Rd and then right onto Lake Shore Dr. Park at the beginning of the paved path on Lake Shore Dr. We will have a car parked on the other end of the park to shuttle you back. Register with Sheryl Pollock sopol@yahoo.com or 703-400-8225 cell

 

Brown's Chapel, Reston

Sunday, April 7, 2013, 7:30-10:30 AM

A mix of habitats-woods, lake and open field-make this an interesting walk in spring. Andy Rabin will lead.

Getting there: From Baron Cameron Ave. in Reston, turn north on Village Rd. and immediately right on Brown's Chapel Rd. Park by the ball field.

 

Bluebells at Bull Run

Sunday, April 7, 2013, 2-4:00 PM

A spectacular show of bluebells, spring beauties and other spring wildflowers along a 1 ½ mile path! Join us for this 30+ year tradition. All ages. This walk is co-sponsored with Potomac Overlook Regional Park and led by Casey Pittrizzi. No reservations required. Call the nature center at 703-528-5406 or Bull Run Regional Park directly at 703-631-0550 for more info.
Getting there: Bull Run Regional Park is located at 7700 Bull Run Drive, Centreville, VA 20121.

 

Wildflowers at Riverbend Park

Sunday, April 14, 2-4:00 PM

No charge, but registration required

Join Katy Simenson for this always popular walk to view the bluebells and other spring wildflowers that carpet the floodplain. Register with Katy at 703-281-7129.

Getting there: From Rt. 193 east of the village of Great Falls, take Riverbend Rd. to Jeffery Rd. and turn into the main park entrance. Meet at the visitor center.  

 

Twin Branches, Reston, VA                                                         

Thursday, April 18, 2013, 8:00 AM

No charge, but registration required

Following Snakeden Branch, this park highlights a carpet of wildflowers and ferns.

Getting there: Meeting Place: Lake Audubon Pool parking lot on Twin Branches Rd. From Baron Cameron Ave. (Rt 606) in Reston, turn south onto Wiehle Ave. Turn leftonto Sunrise Valley Dr. Turn right onto South Lakes Drive. Turn left onto Twin Branches Rd. The pool will be on your right.

Register with Sheryl Pollock sopol@yahoo.com or 703-400-8225 cell

 

Meadowlark Gardens, Vienna, VA

Thursday, April 25, 2013, 10:00 AM

No charge, but registration required

This walk will feature an even greater show of late spring wildflowers occurring in the wildflower collection.

Getting there: Meeting Place: the steps in front of the visitor center. See Friday, March 29, above. Note: there is an entrance fee.

Register with Sheryl Pollock sopol@yahoo.com or 703-400-8225 cell 

 

Coming Soon!!

Delaware Bay Weekend Fieldtrip

 

May 24-26, 2013

Reservations required. Cost $20.

Ray Smith will again lead this trip at the height of shorebird migration. The Beacon Motel in Lewes, DE, will be our base, with birding starting at Cape Henlopen State Park on Friday, May 24. On Friday evening, Ray will hold a shorebird identification class, and discuss the natural history of the Horseshoe Crab. Saturday will be spent at several great places on the Bay that are famous for Horseshoe Crab eggs that feed the migrating shorebirds-Broad Kill Beach Rd., Prime Hook, Satellite Beach, and Mispillion Lighthouse. On Sunday, we will drive to Ted Harvey Management Area and Bombay Hook. Limit is 20. Contact ASNV to reserve your space. Send check for $20 to ASNV.

Additional information can be found on the ASNV web site

 

Other News
Secret Pond: A Fairy Shrimp Documentary-Thursday, March 7, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Naturalist and filmmaker Brian La Fountain has been fascinated with fairy shrimp - tiny crustaceans that live in seasonal ponds - since he was a boy. With Sweet Briar's naturalist-in-residence, Mike Hayslett, as his guide to the hidden places where they live, La Fountain finally discovered the elusive critters in the wild and captured them in incredible high-definition detail. Created in part to raise awareness for the protection of the fairy shrimp's vulnerable habitat, "Secret Pond" is a surprisingly poignant portrayal of the microcosmic world of these delicate creatures. Fairy Shrimp have been found in two locations in Loudoun so far - perhaps they live in a vernal pool near you! Join us for this free showing on the big screen! Location: Woodgrove High School Auditorium, 36811 Allder School Road, Purcellville. Questions: Contact Beth Arsenault at barsenault@loudounwildlife.org.

 

DC Environmental Film Festival - Each March the Festival presents a diverse selection of high quality environmental films, including many Washington, D.C., U.S. and World premieres. Most Festival films are accompanied by discussions with filmmakers, environmental experts and special guests, including national decision makers and thought leaders, and are free to the public.  Read more ...

Spring Native Plant Sale. Rust Nature Sanctuary. The Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy will hold its second annual Spring Native Plant Sale, providing a one-of-a-kind event where residents can purchase a wide array of native plants for their gardens. Natives are not only beautiful but also less susceptible to pests and diseases.  They require much less maintenance, help us to conserve water, and decrease or eliminate the use of fertilizers and pesticides. Nature by Design and Hill House Farm & Nursery will have a large selection of native plants for sale. More information at www.nature-by-design.com, www.hillhousenativeplants.com, and
 
Bluebell Festival at Merrimac Farm.  Save the Date - Sunday, April 7, 2013! We'll have hikes for photographers, hikes to discover the best places to find birds and butterflies, and hikes to identify native plants - in other words, something for everyone!
Other Workshops
Hog Island Audubon Camp
Registration Opens October 15, 20
More information can be found  here.

National Audubon Society National Convention
July 12-16, 2013
Skamania Lodge
Plan ahead for the convention.   www.skamania.com

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