May 2015

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In this Newsletter

  • President's Corner  
  • Audubon Afternoon
  • Annual Meeting and Celebration of Citizen Science
  • Birdathon 2015
  • International Migratory Bird Count
  • Butterfly Identification Workshop
  • Annual Butterfly Count
  • Advocacy Update
  • 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

  • May 13
  • June 10

Occoquan Bay NWR

  • May 27
  • June 24

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 - May 8
  • Occoquan Regional Park - May 15
  • Occoquan Bay NWR - May 22
  • Meadowood - May 29

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

President's Corner

I was getting ready to report that the red-bellied woodpecker who has been waking us up at 6:30 every morning banging on the gutter (“attention must be paid!”) had stopped, but I guess he was just slacking off for a few days, because he’s back.  Ah well.  As they say in the movies, it’s a small price to pay for beauty.
This is a special year for Audubon members in northern Virginia.  The National Audubon Society, of which we, the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, are a chapter, is holding its annual convention July 10 – 13 at the Lansdowne resort in nearby Leesburg.  Field trips and workshops begin on Thursday, July 9.  This is a great opportunity to learn more about Audubon and Audubon’s conservation programs.  For more information, and to register, go to

And please save another date – we will be holding our own annual ASNV membership meeting on Sunday, June 14, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm at the National Wildlife Federation Building.  Jim Waggener and Dr. Leslie Ries of Georgetown University will be speaking to us about the Occoquan Bay area wildlife surveys Jim and his dedicated team have been conducting for over 30 years now.  And we’ll also be awarding Birdathon prizes! 

Have a good month. 
Carl Kikuchi

Audubon Afternoon

Annual Meeting and
Celebration of Citizen Science

With Jim Waggener 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 lead 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 – professor at Georgetown University and Program Director of The North American Butterfly Monitoring Network. Her background focuses on butterfly ecology and her interests are in using butterfly data to understand how ecological communities respond to climate and land-use change.

Read more ...

Birdathon 2015

April 24 - May 17

Birdathon 2015 is nearly here. Please organize your teams and sign up for our annual spring migration birding competition. It's a fun outing with an array of great prizes. And it raises much-needed contributions to support ASNV's conservation and education programs. If you don't have a team, just let us know, and we'll find one for you.

Read more ...

International Migratory Bird Count

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Annual Migratory Bird Count for Occoquan Bay NWR will be held Saturday, May 9.  Contact Jim Waggener, 703-567-3555 or for details.

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 for details. 

Read more ...

Advocacy Update


Congress Should Support Birds

Congress is considering several disturbing measures that attack basic bird protections, including H.R. 493, a bill that would undercut two cornerstone bird conservation laws — the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  H.R. 493 would force the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to grant 30-year permits for taking or killing eagles, a policy that the National Audubon Society strongly opposes.  

Read more ...

June 9 Primaries

Primaries to nominate candidates for various offices in Virginia will be held on June 9 in Virginia.  The candidates for the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates are here.

To find out about offices for which a primary or an election will be held this year, visit the Virginia Department of Elections here.

Campaigns offer many opportunities to educate candidates about key conservation issues.

Keep Water Clean

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a proposal to clarify the legal protections for some of America’s most vulnerable streams, including headwater streams, some wetlands and intermittent or occasionally dry streams. 

Read more ...

Weigh in on Parks

The Fairfax County Park Authority sent a survey to 15,000 randomly selected households as part of their needs assessment study. FCPA says, "The survey results will help inform priorities and decisions about future park and recreation service delivery and facility improvements. If you received the survey, you may want to stress the need for more natural resource parks and more restoration of parklands, as the county reaches what is called "buildout" and few natural areas are left.

Green Spring Park

You might want to share your suggestions on what Green Spring Gardens Park should be as they update the master plan. Share your views here.

Field Trips - Bird Walks


Loudoun County Birding Opportunities

To celebrate International Migratory Bird Day, the Loudoun County Wildlife Conservancy has scheduled a number of bird walks from May 1 to May 10. Walks are free, but most require registration. See dates and locations at the site.

Friday May 1 through Sunday May 10

8:00 AM

Registration required

Wolftrap Park, Reston, VA

For almost two years now, ASNV has fielded teams surveying the bird life of Wolftrap Park and building a seasonal bird list for Park sponsors. Join us on one of our counting walks, where we identify species, track numbers, and look for the signs of pairing and nesting behaviors. This sector of the park has some steep sections, but they’re short and we’ll be going slowly. Led by Margaret Grieshaber and Jean Tatalias.

Getting there: From Rt. 7, take Towlston Rd. to the park. Turn left at the main entrance toward the Filene Center. From Vienna, cross the Toll Rd. and turn right into the main entrance to the Filene Center. Bear right and go down the road behind and to the right of the Center. Park in the back Parking Lot 1, near the restrooms and trailhead.

Thursday, May 7

8:00 AM -10:30 AM

Stratton Woods Park, Reston, VA

Breakfast in bed is overrated!! Treat Mom to an early morning birdwalk and we will look and listen for spring songbirds. Carol and Jay Hadlock will lead. Sponsored by the Bird Feeder of Reston and the Reston Association.

Getting there: From westbound Dulles Access Road, go south on the Fairfax County Parkway. From the Parkway, go west on Fox Mill Rd and take the first right turn into the parking lot for the park. 2431 Fox Mills Road

Sunday May 10

7:30 AM- 10:30 AM

Walker Nature Center, Reston, VA

We’ll walk through the woods to Lake Audubon to enjoy our spring nesters and possibly some late migrants. Led by Catherine Kubo and Jean Tatalias. Co-sponsored with the Northern Virginia Bird Club.

Getting there: From Westbound Dulles Toll Road take exit 14 (Hunter Mill Road/VA-674). Turn left onto Hunter Mill Rd (VA-674), right onto Sunrise Valley Drive, left onto S Lakes Drive, left onto Twin Branches Rd. Then take third right onto Glade Drive. Meet at the Nature House at 11450 Glade Drive in Reston.

Thursday, May 21

8:30 AM

Delaware Bay Weekend Trip

Ray Smith will lead this trip meeting Friday at 3:00 PM in Lewes, Delaware at the Beacon Motel parking lot at 514 East Savannah Road, Lewes. The motel (1-302-645-4888) is on the main road in Lewes (Rte. 9) just over the bridge after the historic business district. Birding locations will include Cape Henlopen State Park, Broad Kill Beach, Prime Hook, and Bombay Hook. Detailed itinerary available upon registration with Ray at 571-286-7856 or

Friday May 29 through Sunday May 31

Currently filled, but you can request to be wait-listed.

Reservations Required

$20 Fee payable to ASNV for reservation to be final

Three Fox Vineyards, Delaplane, VA

Experience La Dolce Vita the birding way with leader Ellen Jacobson. We’ll look for spring nesters and enjoy the varied habitats that Three Fox offers—meadow, woodland, stream and, of course, the vineyard. After the walk, we’ll conclude in the picnic area beside the river. We’ll taste the Vineyards’ award winning wines; feel free to bring a picnic lunch. Also bring optics, bug spray, sun screen, hat, and water, but no dogs, please. The $20 fee for the walk and wine ($15 for Designated Drivers) will be collected at the winery. Winery capacity is limited so please email Ellen Jacobson at for reservations. Meet in the parking lot at 8:30 AM.

Getting there: Take I-66 west to exit at Delaplane (exit 23) and take Route 17 north for about 1 mile. After you cross the railroad tracks at Goose Creek, take an immediate left onto Three Fox Lane. Go over the little bridge and keep right, up the hill past the three statue foxes and the tasting room is on the right.

Saturday May 30


8:30 AM

$20 fee (cash please) for walk and wine-tasting; $15 for designated drivers. Please bring with you to give to leader.

Email Ellen Jacobson at to make a reservation.

Sapsucker Woods, Reston, VA

We don’t expect to find sapsuckers at the end of May, but in this stretch of the Glade Stream Valley, we will find plenty of other woodpeckers and songbirds. Carol and Jay Hadlock will lead. Sponsored by the Bird Feeder of Reston and the Reston Association.

Getting there: Take the Dulles Toll Road West, to Exit 13, Wiehle Ave. Turn left onto Wiehle, Right onto Sunrise Valley Drive, Left onto Soapstone Drive, and then Right onto Glade Drive. Meet in the parking lot of the Glade Community Pool and Tennis Courts. 11550 Glade Drive.

Sunday May 31

7:30 AM – 10:30 AM

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


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


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,




Other News


The 75th Green Breakfast

Radical Daikon Radishes

WHEN: Saturday, May 9; 8:30 - 10:00 AM

WHERE: Brion's Grille, 10621 Braddock Road, Fairfax, VA(Located in University Shopping Mall, across the street from Roanoke River Road entrance to GMU)

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Students from George Mason High School in Falls Church and George Marshall High School in Tysons have been working with the Northern Virginia Water and Conservation District to rehabilitate the urban soils on their schools' campuses using daikon radishes. Daikons have been used as a  bio-tiller for years to break up compaction in farm fields. The George Mason High School students will present results from their study to see if these deep-rooted radishes can be used to alleviate compaction in urban soils. If successful, bio-tilling with daikons could become a practice used throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed to improve both soils and water quality.

COST: $10 at the door for the all-you-can-eat buffet (includes tax and tip). Cash is preferred. If you would only like a beverage, contact the NVSWCD at

SPONSOR: Fairfax County/Northern Virginia Soil & Water Conservation District.

Works Scavenger Hunt Sweepstakes.

Beginning in early May, National Audubon will be hosting a “scavenger hunt” on Audubon Works. By completing the scavenger hunt, you’ll get to know all of the great features of Works—and be entered into a sweepstakes for our grand prize (to be announced, but we think you’ll like it). Be on the lookout for more details, and make sure you’re a registered user of Works -- only people registered for Works in advance will be eligible for the sweepstakes!


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

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