May 2012
In This Issue
ASNV is on Facebook
Birds of Northern VA
Field Trips
Take the LEAPP
Advocacy Update

Upcoming Events

Save the Date!
Join Jim Waggener for the annual International Migratory Bird Count at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, May 12th, 6:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Contact Jim via email or phone (703-567-3555) if you can participate.



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
  • May 30
  • June 27
Meadowood on Mason Neck
  • May 16
  • June 13

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:
  • May 11:  Occoquan Regional Park
  • May 18:  OBNWR
  • May 25:  Meadowood Recreation Area
  • June 1:  Metz Wetlands
  • June 8:  Occoquan Regional Park
  • June 15:  OBNWR
  • June 22:  Meadowood Recreation Area

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 that as all of you think of your summer plans that you'll keep us in mind and check us out on facebook and on the website to find out when that next birdwalk or workshop is scheduled. 

I also hope that you'll all drop by for our June 10th Audubon Afternoon from 3-5pm at the National Wildlife Federation headquarters in Reston.  We need you there to help us vote-in Terry Liercke as our new president and also to vote in new board members.  On that note, we are reaching out to Prince William County, Arlington and Reston for new board members in order to be able to better move activities around greater Fairfax County and to our south so that we can include as many members as we can closer to where you live. Arlington folks have seen this in our increased activities at Potomac Overlook Regional Park, and Long Branch in the future we hope, and in the south we have those wonderful weekly excursions that Jim Waggoner leads all around the Mason Neck peninsula.  At the same time, we're not neglecting Reston and are expanding in Loudoun and Fauquier counties.  So, let us know what you think and see you June 10th.

Thanks, and please stay in touch!! 
Bruce

   
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
1995-2010

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

 

Field Trips and Birdwalks

Registration is not required for field trips, unless noted. Contact the ASNV office at 703-438-6008 or info@audubonva.org for more information. Participants should dress for the weather and bring binoculars. Visit our website for more information about these and other upcoming field trips.

Bird, Bugs, & Blooms, Riverbend Park

Tuesday May 15, 7:00 AM

Get in the swing of spring migration with trip leaders, Glen Gerada and Ed Clark. This will be a nature hike, looking at everything the park has to offer. Please call Glen to let him know you plan to come, 703-725-9892

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

 

Clark's Crossing, Vienna

Wednesday, May 23, 7:30-10:30 AM

Join Carol and Jay Hadlock to walk a stretch of the W&OD Trail looking for Indigo Buntings, Orchard and Baltimore Orioles, Yellow-breasted Chats and spring warblers.

Getting there: Clark's Crossing Rd. is off Beulah Rd. about halfway between the Toll Rd. and Maple Ave.

 

Glade Stream Valley, Reston

Sunday, May 27, 7:30-10:30 AM

This is one of Reston's birding hotspots, and for leaders Joanne and David Bauer, it's their backyard. Join them for a morning of fine birding.

Getting there: From Reston Parkway, take Glade Dr. to the intersection with Twin Branches. Park along Glade Dr.

 

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.

.

 

Take the LEAPP!
Learn More About The Natural World

The LEAPP® (Learn, Enjoy, Appreciate, Preserve, and Protect) program offers the opportunity to learn more about the natural world and be informed, active stewards for its care and protection. To register or for more information, please visit our website, email us or call the ASNV office at 703-438-6008. Don't miss out - register early! Please note that registration is not complete until payment is received. Visit our website for more information about these and other upcoming LEAPP programs.

Class: Saturday, May 26, 1-3 PM
Field trip: Saturday, June 2, 2-4 PM
Join Potomac Overlook naturalists for an exploration into the world that exists in our smaller local streams. Common fish, amphibians, birds, insects, crustaceans, amphibians, and other invertebrates will be covered through an interpretive slideshow. Live specimens will also be on hand for participants to observe. Please note: The class session is mandatory for those wishing to go on the field trip.

Programs Available From Our Partner Organization:
Audubon members and volunteers are encouraged to sign up for programs of our partner organization, the Virginia Native Plant Society - Potowmack chapter.  The following are especially relevant to our Audubon at Home Wildlife Sanctuary certification program.  See more at the VNPS chapter website.

 

Native Plant Propagation Workshop, April 14, with Laura Beaty, Propagation Chair. Morning and afternoon sessions. RSVP required: Laura Beaty at laurabeaty@mac.com or call 703 534-8746.

 

Riverbend Park Botanical Walk, April 18: Natural History, Folklore and Ethnobotany with Alonso Abugattas. RSVP: Diana Carter at dcarter1776@yahoo.com

 

.

 

 
Advocacy Update
Conservation Depends on You!

Subject: "Feathery Tribe: Robert Ridgway and the Modern Study of Birds"

Lectures & Book Signings

Dan Lewis's The Feathery Tribe: Robert Ridgway and the Modern Study of Birds

Thursday, May 17, 2012, 12 noon

Baird Auditorium, National Museum of Natural History,

Smithsonian Institution


Chincoteague NWR Seeks Shoreline Stewards
Throughout the summer months, Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge (VA) welcomes a growing population of nesting shorebirds, including Atlantic piping plovers, least terns, and American oystercatchers. These birds choose nesting sites along the Refuge's beaches and spend the season raising and tending to their young. Allowing the birds sufficient space to live, eat, and grow, Refuge staff close the nesting areas to human disturbance, which may include beach driving, surffishing, walking, swimming, and other beach-related recreation.
In an effort to educate visitors on the importance of these nesting areas to the health of species populations, volunteers assist by sharing photos, maps, biological and population information, and an occasional view through binoculars or scopes. By offering this service to visitors, the Refuge hopes to allay frustrations, lack of understanding, and closure violations - all of which can be detrimental to the wildlife, habitat, and work of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Refuge staff (and the birds) need more volunteers for this endeavor! Each week, volunteers will have one or two shifts out at the beach (don't worry if you can't make it that often, we can work out a schedule that works for you), talking with and educating visitors. For orientation, we ask that volunteers join Biologist Kevin Holcomb on Thursday, May 24, for a 2-3 hour overview of the task, the issues, and the birds.

 

When: RSVP by Monday, May 21 to Kevin Holcomb,  kevin_holcomb@fws.gov or 757-336-6122 x319, for Thursday, May 24; noon - 3pm
Where: Bateman Education Center Classroom, Chincoteague NWR, VA
Tools needed: customer service skills; appreciation for shorebirds; walking shoes

For more information about the Atlantic Coast Piping Plovers click here:

 

 

Attention Auduboners:  Below are several important opportunities to express your views and influence public policy.  Act now!

 

Cut Carbon, Save Birds

At a March scientific conference, experts stressed that climate change may now be irreversible and urged every nation to act.

National Audubon is asking every Auduboner to let Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency know that Auduboners support EPA's action to reduce carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions.   Mike Daulton with NAS said, "Audubon scientists have proven warming trends driven by carbon pollution have already disrupted bird migration patterns across the country. Nearly 60 percent of the 305 species found in winter across North America are shifting their ranges northward by an average of 35 miles." Go here for info.
.

Auduboners have a chance to present views at a May 24 hearing in Washington. Here are the details from EPA.

 

The EPA published in the Federal Register on April 13, 2012, the proposed rule, "Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions for New Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units." The EPA is making two announcements: first, two public hearings will be held for the proposed Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions for New Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units, and, second, the comment period for this rulemaking will be extended until June 25, 2012.

Public Hearings on May 24, 2012:

Washington DC

Ariel Rios East Building, Room 1153

1301 Constitution Avenue

Washington, D.C. 20460

 

The public hearing in Washington, DC will convene at 8:30 a.m. and will continue until 4:30 p.m. A lunch break is scheduled from 12:00 p.m. until 1:00 p.m. The EPA plans to conclude the hearing at 4:30 p.m. All Washington, DC times are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). The public hearing in Chicago will convene at 8:30 a.m. and will continue until 4:30 p.m. A lunch break is scheduled from 12:00 p.m. until 1:00 p.m. The EPA plans to conclude the hearing at 4:30 p.m. All Chicago times are Central Daylight Time (CDT). The EPA's Web site for the rulemaking, which includes the proposal and information about the hearings can be found here.

 

 

Dyke Marsh Restoration Options to Be Presented


The National Park Service will hold a public meeting on options for restoring Dyke Marsh on Tuesday, May 8, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Indigo Landing Restaurant at the Washington Sailing Marina just south of National Airport. The meeting will give attendees an opportunity to view and comment on draft design alternatives for Dyke Marsh restoration. Plan to attend and share your views.

 

You can also submit comments electronically. Electronically submitted comments is
the NPS' preferred method of receiving comments.


Written comments may also be mailed to: Superintendent, George Washington
Memorial Parkway, Turkey Run Park, McLean, VA 22101. Attn: Dyke Marsh
Wetland Restoration Management Plan/EIS.

Let NPS know you care about restoring Dyke Marsh.  It only takes a few sentences.

 

A U.S. Geological Survey study has found that Dyke Marsh is "eroding rapidly," as much as six feet or 1.5 to 2 acres a year. Dyke Marsh could be gone in 30 to 40 years if action is not taken

 

The study ". . . 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. . . [italics ours]. The scientists wrote, "This freshwater tidal marsh has shifted from a semi-stable net depositional environment (1864-1937) into a strongly erosional one, during a time when it currently is in early-phase planning for comprehensive restoration." Authors attribute the "deconstruction" over the past 70 years to a combination of human and natural causes.

 

The study says that Dyke Marsh will continue to be "subjected to strong lateral shoreline erosion and stream piracy until (1) its former geological protections are restored by human intervention or (2) it is fully dismembered and eroded away by recurrent future storm activity (if left alone)."

 

The USGS study is posted at http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2010/1269/. The lead authors are Ronald J. Litwin, Joseph P. Smoot and Milan J. Pavich, with NPS and local academic coauthors.

 

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.

 

BLM Releases Environmental Assessment for Meadowood Barn

 

The Bureau of Land Management-Eastern States Office has released an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the barn at the Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area in Lorton, Virginia. The Meadowood Barn EA describes the environmental impacts of various alternatives for the structure as well as a proposed action.

 

The existing Barn structure, erected in 1976, is 104 feet wide and 248 feet in length. It includes 46 stalls, a 190-foot by 60-foot indoor arena, and a number of storage areas and mechanical rooms. Several elements in the building do not meet requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or structural, plumbing, and electrical codes.

 

The Environmental Assessment describes a proposed action to renovate the Meadowood Barn structure within its existing footprint and use, to the extent possible, existing framing and structural components. Alternative actions include immediate closure and demolition of the structure, or no action whatsoever.

 

"The Meadowood Barn EA was developed in consultation with a large number of federal, state, and local organizations," said John Lyon, Director of BLM Eastern States. "We think it is a significant step forward in bringing the facility into compliance with federal and state standards."

 

Copies of the Meadowood Barn EA are available on the BLM Eastern States website . The website also has a form for submitting public comments on the document. Comments will be accepted through May 25, 2012.

.