May 2017

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In this Newsletter

  • President's Corner
  • International Migratory Bird Day Workshop
  • Attracting Birds With Water June Audubon Afternoon and Annual Membership Meeting
  • Northwest Federal Credit Union Donates $250
  • Michele Sullivan Wins Hog Island Scholarship
  • Bring on the Birdathon!
  • ASNV is going to Cuba!
  • Take Action
  • Bird Walks
  • 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 (7:30AM - 12 PM) 

  • May 17
  • June 14

Occoquan Bay NWR  (7:30AM - 12 PM)

  • May 13 (International Migratory Bird Day)
  • May 31
  • June 28

Butterfly and Dragonfly Surveys   (8:30 am-12:30 pm)

Butterfly & Dragonfly surveys will be starting up in April on Fridays, 8:30am-12:00pm.
  • Metz - May 5
  • Occoquan Regional Park - May 12
  • Occoquan Bay NWR - May 19
  • Meadowood Recreation Area -May 26
  • Metz - June 2
  • Occoquan Regional Park - June 9
  • Occoquan Bay NWR - June 16
  • Meadowood Recreation Area -June 23
  • Metz - June 30
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

Suddenly, it seems, the ground-nesting bees are busy swirling back and forth at ankle level above the garden beds, looking for bare soil.  (Probably I have mulched where I should not have.)  The sweetgum is almost fully leafed out.  Migration is on – the Baltimore Oriole again in the sycamores by the schoolyard, House Wrens among the houses.  Warblers on my morning walk, although I forgot to take my binoculars today.  Abundance and renewal; all the heartening reminders of the pleasures in nature.
We’re excited to announce that we will be offering an Ornithology course in the fall – 12 weeks, starting in September, taught by acclaimed ornithologist, educator, and artist Bill Stott. This is a wonderful opportunity to deepen your understanding of birds and, through them, of the natural world.  Note also:  we will be seeking a Coordinator for this class, to take care of class housekeeping matters and communications in exchange for reduced tuition.  If you think you might be interested, let us know.
Save the date – our annual Membership meeting and Audubon Afternoon will be on June 11, 2:30 – 5 at the National Wildlife Federation Building in Reston.  Bob Schamerhorn will be speaking to us about “Attracting Birds With Water.”  This should be a great program.  We’ll also conduct elections, and announce Birdathon winners. 
  • It’s not too late for Birdathon!  Register your team, or pledge to support a team here.
  • Spring Warblers Workshop is on May 11.  Register here.
And many thanks to Northwest Federal Credit Union for their generous donation to our Chapter in commemoration of National Audubon Day on April 26. See the article below.

Have a good month.
Carl Kikuchi

International Migratory Bird Day Workshop

May 4th join the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia (ASNV) for a FREE workshop to prepare for the longest running annual spring bird count in this area.  The class will include an overview of IMBD, the Lower Potomac River Important Bird Area (LPR-IBA), key species and techniques used to count them. We’ll also learn how the data is used. Read More..

Attracting Birds With Water
June Audubon Afternoon and
Annual Membership Meeting

Sunday, June 11, 2017
2:30 pm – social time and silent auction
3:00  - 5:00 pm  - meeting and program

National Wildlife Federation
11100 Wildlife Dr.
Reston, VA 20190

Acclaimed nature photographer, Bob Schamerhorn, presents “Attracting Birds with Water" Please join us for this special program at our Annual Membership Meeting. We’ll also have a silent auction, refreshments and Birdathon awards. Read More..

Northwest Federal Credit Union Donates $250

On Wednesday, April 26, Northwest Federal Credit Union donated $250.00 to the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia in honor of National Audubon Day. The donation was part of the Credit Union’s “70 Acts of We” initiative celebrating their 70th anniversary. These charitable acts honor Northwest Federal’s members, employees and communities throughout the year.  Michelle Sandy, Community Partner Liaison with Northwest Federal, presented the check to ASNV President Carl Kikuchi.
“ASNV is pleased to be one of Northwest Federal’s Community Partners, and to be able to work with them for the enrichment of our communities,” said Mr. Kikuchi.  Northwest Federal’s Community Partners is a group of philanthropic organizations affiliated with the Credit Union. Learn more about membership with Northwest Federal here.

Michele Sullivan Wins Hog Island Scholarship

Michele Sullivan, a 5th grade teacher at Mantua Elementary School, has won the 2017 Hog Island, Maine Scholarship for Educator’s Week! The Audubon Society of Northern Virginia annually awards this scholarship to the educator in all of northern Virginia who designs the best plan for bringing conservation education to students outdoors.  Read More..

Bring on the Birdathon!

Spring is for the birds!  Are you looking for a fun way to jazz up your spring birding?  Look no further than the ASNV Birdathon.  Get together two to five of your best birding buddies and set off into northern Virginia to identify as many species as possible in 24 hours!  This event gives you the unique opportunity to have fun birding, compete with other teams, and to raise money for the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia.
Sponsors can pledge per bird, or a set amount of money.  All pledges help support programs such as the Northern Virginia Bird Survey, Audubon at Home, Educational workshops, and much more.
This year we will have prizes available for the team that raises the most money, and the team that identifies the most species of birds.  We have also expanded our date range to allow teams to select the best 24 hour timeframe that works for them between Friday April 21st and Sunday May 21st.  That opens up a full month of time to get out and bird!  To find out how to register your team, or make a pledge to support a team, visit the birdathon page on our website at www.audubonva.org/birdathon .

ASNV is going to Cuba!

You can join Northern Virginia birders on a trip to Cuba!  ASNV is sponsoring a one-week trip, December 6-15, 2017, through Holbrook Travel.
Our travelers will look for the Cuban Trogon, Zapata Wren, Bee Hummingbird and other Cuban endemics, as well as wintering migrants and other resident species.  The tour includes a day in Havana, and covers parts of western Cuba, the Zapata peninsula on the south coast, and the Cayo Coco beach area on the north coast.

Details are at here. Base price is $3,865 per person, excluding airfare.

Photo: Cuban Trogon by Dixie Sommers

Take Action

Advocate for Audubon

The Advocacy Committee will meet on May 22.  Among other topics, we will learn how local governments make decisions on parks and hear from Samantha Hudson, a Fairfax County Park Authority planning staffer. Read More

June Primaries

Elections are opportunities to elect conservation-minded officials.  Both parties will hold a primary on June 13, 2017.  For statewide offices, voters will choose nominees for Governor, Lt. Governor and many members of the House of Delegates.  To learn more, including candidates who have filed, visit here. To vote on June 13, you must register by May 22.  Some localities have in-person, “absentee” voting before June 13.

Successes in the Virginia Legislature

In the April 5 and final session for 2016, the Virginia General Assembly considered Governor Terry McAuliffe’s amendments to and vetoes of various bills.  Two final bills, now law, will make the Potomac River and others healthier for aquatic life, waterfowl, drinking water and recreation. Read More..

Bird Walks


Bird Day Workshop and Beer

Prepare for the annual spring bird count with Greg Butcher, VP of ASNV. See link for full details and registration.


Workshop May 4,
7-9 PM

Field Trip, Saturday, May 6, 8-11 AM

Sapsucker Woods, Reston, VA

We’re probably too late for sapsuckers, but migrants and arriving summer residents will surely be abundant. Sponsored by the Reston Association and The Bird Feeder of Reston.

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 7

7:30 to 10:30 am

Wolftrap National Park, Reston, VA

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts and the Friends of Wolf Trap bring you a special guided hike for Mother’s Day, May 14, with birding leader Jean Tatalias of ASNV. Bring your mom to this special event to see the beautiful birds of Wolf Trap. The walk starts at 9 AM at the Filene Center Main Gate (Box Office) and lasts 1.5 to 2 hours. Please dress appropriately for a hike and the weather. Bring your binoculars if you have them. Map available at http://go.nps.gov/hikewt

Getting there: From Rt. 7, take Towlston Rd. to the park and go to the main entrance to the Filene Center. Park around the circle or in the lower lot if the circle is full. Meet at the Filene Center Box Office.

Sunday, May 14

9:00 AM to 10:30 AM


Bles Park, Sterling, VA

Return to Bles to see if new summer residents have arrived. Last year in May we had prairie warblers, redstarts, yellow warblers, and indigo buntings. Jean Tatalias leads. Sponsored by the Northern Virginia Bird Club.

Getting there: From the intersection of VA Route 28 and VA Route 7, travel west on Rt. 7 for 1.3 miles and turn right onto Loudoun County Parkway. Turn right on George Washington Blvd., then left on Riverside Pkwy. Bles Park will be on your right at the end of Riverside Pkwy.

Wedenesday, May 17

8:30 AM to 11:30 AM

Mason Neck State Park, Lorton, VA

Join Dixie Sommers, from the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, in a bird walk BEFORE the official opening of the Eagle Festival. We'll look for migrating birds, woodpeckers, eagles, osprey and others. Bring your binoculars! IMPORTANT: We will meet at the playground parking lot -- NOT the Visitor Center -- so we don't interfere with set-up of the Eagle Festival. Sponsored by Friends of Mason Neck State Park.

Getting there: From I-495, take I-95 South 7 miles to Lorton exit. Go left (east) on Route 642 to Route 1. Go right (south) on Rte. 1 and then left (east) on Gunston Rd, Rte. 242. In 4 miles, turn right into Mason Neck Management Area. 7301 High Point Road, Lorton, VA 22079-4010.

Saturday, May 20

8:00 AM to 10:00 AM


Meet at the playground parking lot

Stratton Woods Park, Reston, VA

May is running out! It’s time to be birding and enjoying Spring as we explore the edge habitats of this community park. Sponsored by the Reston Association and The Bird Feeder of Reston.

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 and park by the ball fields. 2431 Fox Mill Road.

Sunday, May 21

7:30 to 10:30 am

Clarks Crossing, W&OD Trail, Vienna, VA

Join this fun walk for birding along the trial and seeing a bluebird box monitoring demonstration. Larry Meade leads. Sponsored by ASNV.

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, May 28

8:00 to 11:30 am

Walker Nature Center/Snakeden Stream Valley, Reston, VA

Try to spot our local hawks, pileated woodpeckers, and common yellowthroats that use this stream-side habitat. Sponsored by the Reston Association and The Bird Feeder of Reston.

Getting there: From VA-267 W/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.

Sunday, June 11

7:30 to 10:30 am

Dyke Marsh, Alexandria, VA

Join Leader Larry Cartwright to check out breeding birds along the woodland trail and water’s edge at this terrific birding location. 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 14

8:30 to 11:00 AM

Manassas National Battlefield Park, Manassas VA

Meet leader Toby Hardwick to walk the Brawner Farm/Deep Cut area of the Battlefield. We’ll look for blue grosbeaks, indigo buntings, and yellow-breasted chats. Breeding bird behavior should be in full swing! Sponsored by ASNV.

Getting there: Travel west on I-66 to Exit 47B, Route 234 North (Sudley Road). Proceed past the turnoff to the visitor center and turn left on Route 29 (Lee Highway). At the west end of the park, turn right (north) on Pageland Lane. Look for the Brawner Farm Parking turnoff on the right.

Sunday, June 25

8:00 to 11:00 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...