November 2015

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In this Newsletter

                                                       President's Corner
Sign Up for the 34th Annual Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count
Many Thanks to the Town of Clifton!
Audubon’s Hog Island Educator’s Week Scholarship
Save the Date: Post Holiday Audubon Afternoon
Birding in Costa Rica
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

  • November 11
  • December 2

Occoquan Bay NWR

  • November 25
  • December 16

Butterfly and Dragonfly Surveys

Regularly scheduled butterfly/ dragonfly surveys will resume in April 2016.

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

It has taken a little longer than usual, but the squirrels have now stripped the berries from our dogwoods (they always leave just a few out at the ends of the twigs for the birds.)  We don’t seem to be seeing as many squirrels this year, which may be the reason for the delay; I trust that’s just a temporary dip in the local population.  We may have our disagreements over access to the bird feeders, but things wouldn’t be the same without them, would they?  

Hard to believe, but we are coming up on Christmas Bird Count season already.  Our Manassas-Bull Run count will be on Sunday, December 20 this year.  As always, we are looking for volunteers at all levels of birding experience and knowledge.  For more information, and to register go to:  We have also posted a listing of the other counts in our area on our web site at  Our thanks to the Northern Virginia Bird Club for compiling the list. 

There is still room for you to join in Ray Smith’s Northern Neck Field Trip, which takes place Friday December 11 through Sunday December 13 (so there is no conflict with the Christmas Bird Count!)  For more information, go to

A reminder that ASNV is now listed as a charity under the Combined Federal Campaign.  Our CFC number is 19785; we are listed under the Earthshare Chapters Federation.  If you are a Federal employee, please consider designating us this year as part of your CFC pledge. For more information, go to

And in case you missed this, we are again this year offering a scholarship to Educator’s Week at Hog Island in Maine in July, 2016, so if you  know a teacher who might be interested, please spread the word.  More info can be found below in this newsletter.

Have a good month. 
Carl Kikuchi

Sign Up for the 34th Annual Manassas-Bull Run
Christmas Bird Count

The Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count will be on Sunday, December 20th.  The count circle is around Centreville and includes Manassas Battlefield, parts of Bull Run Regional Park, undeveloped areas south of Dulles Airport, and many stream valley parks and undeveloped locations from Clifton to west Fairfax City.    A hot lunch will be served to participants.  Birders of all skill levels are needed. 
If you participated last year your sector leader will be in touch soon.  If you don’t hear from your sector leader, or if you would like to be in a different sector, contact Bob Shipman at  This year, we will be offering an opportunity for feeder watchers.  If you or someone you know lives within the count circle and cannot go out on the count, he or she can sit inside and count the birds that come to a feeder or yard on count day as an alternate way to participate. 
Signing up is easy! Just go to  Looking forward to seeing you in the field!

Many Thanks to the Town of Clifton!

The Town of Clifton has donated over $2,100 in parking proceeds from the Clifton Haunted Trail event on October 24.  ASNV volunteers provided assistance managing traffic and parking for the event.  And a huge thank you to Laura McDonald, who worked out the arrangement with Clifton, and to Regan McDonald for directing our volunteers and making sure they knew what to do; and to volunteers Joanne and David Bauer, Terry and Kristy Liercke, and Barbara Tuset.  

Audubon’s Hog Island Educator’s Week Scholarship 

Sharing Nature:  An Educator's Week, July 17-22

Do you know an exemplary science teacher? Please encourage them to apply.
ASNV is providing a full scholarship and transportation costs to a week long educators camp in Hog Island Maine, July 17-22, 2016.
Application available Nov. 5 Deadline Feb. 15
Last year’s scholarship recipient, Kate Sydney of Arlington’s Glebe School, said about Hog Island, 
"It has been a busy summer for me.  Of course, the highlight of summer was my time on Hog Island!  It was an amazing professional development experience and I would recommend it to any science teacher.  
There are definitely some pieces that I learned and hope to build in to my work with students this year.  ...
Thank you all for providing this great experience!! »
For details about Hog Island and this year’s camps for teachers and other programs see their website.

Save the Date:  Post Holiday Audubon Afternoon

Sunday, January 10, 2016, 2:30 – 5:00 pm
National  Wildlife Federation Building

11100 Wildlife Center Dr.
Reston, VA 20190

Bird BandingJoin us for Paul Napier’s presentation on “The Cape May Raptor Banding Project” that will cover a brief history, some impressive Project statistics, the Project’s contributions to science projects, and portraits and facts about the raptors banded. There will be lots of great close-up photographs.

Paul Napier has been banding raptors since 1988. He started out as a bird watcher, then discovered raptors and never recovered. He has traveled extensively in the U.S. and abroad in order to learn more about the many exciting birds of prey that share our environment. Paul has been President of the Cape May Raptor Banding Project since the early 2000s when Project founder and noted raptor expert William S. Clark retired.

Birding in Costa Rica


Collared Red Start - Matt MacgilllivrayMarch 19-26, 2016

With nearly 900 recorded bird species, this little country gives you the best bang for your birding buck.  Support sustainable, bird-based tourism while exploring the Central Pacific's Palo Verde National Park and the Tempisque River where we may see aquatic bird species such as Roseate Spoonbills, Boat-billed Heron, Little Blue Heron, and Bare-throated Tiger Heron.   Read More


Who Won, Who Lost?


You can find out who won and lost in the November 3 election at and many local government election offices post results as well. Let's hope the 2016 Virginia General Assembly and new local elected officials are environmentally friendly.

Get Better Conservation Results Out of Richmond


Now that Virginians have elected state senators and delegates, the Virginia League of Conservation Voters (LCV) seeks people to be conservation contacts for state legislators.

Action team members meet with their legislators throughout the year, in their home districts and in Richmond to discuss environmental issues.  By building a constructive relationship with legislators, the result is an elected official far more receptive to a friendly and familiar messenger and their message, say LCV staffers. 

To sign up to be an action team member or for more information, contact Virginia LCV’s Advocacy Coordinator, Becca Summers at 

Fones Cliff Development, a Threat to Bald Eagles


November 12 Vote

The Board of Supervisors of Richmond County, Virginia, east of Fredericksburg, is considering a development of 1,000 acres known as Fones Cliffs, an important site for migrating birds and an especially important site for bald eagles.  William and Mary College ornithologist Bryan Watts described Fones Cliff as being a “crown jewel of the Chesapeake.”  He has said that hundreds of eagles that visit the spot during their migrations each year, that there are a dozen or so nesting pairs in that region and that there is one nest on the site.

 Read more ...

Fairfax County Parks


The Fairfax County Park Authority's 2015 strategic plan is now online at

'Field Trips - Bird Walks


Lake Newport/ Brown’s Chapel, Reston, VA

Enjoy a brisk morning, walking the woods, the lake side, and the sunny field edges. Jean Tatalias leads.  Walk sponsored by the Bird Feeder of Reston and the Reston Association.

Getting there:  From Route 7, go west on Baron Cameron Ave, and turn north on Village Rd. (opposite Lake Anne Village Center). Make an immediate right onto Brown’s Chapel Rd. and park by the ball field.  1575 Brown’s Chapel Road.
Sunday, November 8
7:30 AM-10:30 AM

Eakin Park, Fairfax County, VA

Come look for sapsuckers, brown creepers, and other winter residents. Elizabeth Fenton and Catherine Kubo lead.

Getting there:  From Route 50 outside the beltway, take Prosperity Avenue South to the entrance to the parking lot on the left (east) side.
Wednesday, November 11
8:30 AM

Bles Park, Loudoun County, VA

We'll take an easy walk along the meadows and the creek to look for late fall and winter birds.  Jean Tatalias leads.  Co-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.
Wednesday, November 18
8:30 AM

Burke Lake Park, Fairfax Station, VA

We’ll look for first winter waterfowl on the Lake and enjoy a Sunday woodland walk. Allie Guidry leads.

Getting there: Entrance is off Route 123, south of Burke Lake Road.  Follow signs to Park, turning left at second traffic light.  Take an immediate left in the park, then meet at the lot on the right (near the mini golf course). 7315 Ox Road, Fairfax Station, 22039.
Sunday, November 22
8:00 AM

Northern Neck Weekend Field Trip, VA

Join Ray Smith on this popular field trip to the Northern Neck to see waterfowl and winter migrants including grassland birds.  Birding will begin at 3 PM on Friday, December 11 meeting at the Quality Inn (formerly a Best Western) in Warsaw, VA. Saturday birding will include stops at George Washington's birthplace, the Chesapeake Bay, and then up the Rappahannock. Sunday morning birding will visit the Rappahannock Valley NWR and stops on the return to Fredericksburg, ending mid-afternoon on Sunday. 

Rooms are reserved at the Quality Inn in Warsaw under group rates. To reserve a place on the trip, first contact Ray at 571-286-7856 or Then contact the Audubon office to pay the registration and confirm your place:  703-438-6008 or  You can book a room with the hotel at 804-333-1700.  The trip limit is 20.
3 PM Friday, December 11 to Sunday December 13.
Registration required.
Cost of $25.
Limit: 20 participants
See description for contact information.

Virginia Beach and Surrounding Area Weekend Field Trip, VA

This trip will include all four Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Islands, Back Bay NWR, and a private talk from the Nature Conservancy about their work on barrier islands. We will also visit the Eastern Shore of Virginia NWR, Kiptopeke State Park, Willis Warf, and Cape Charles. Possible birds include Harlequin Ducks, Purple Sandpipers, Great Cormorants, Common Eiders, loons, gannets, and sea ducks. This trip is offered about every five years, so places will fill quickly!

We will stay at the Virginia Beach Resort Hotel and Conference Center at 2800 Shore Dr., Virginia Beach, VA 23451, telephone 800-468-2722. Rooms are a special ASNV rate. Trip leaders are Ray Smith and Larry Cartwright. To make reservations, email Ray at or call 571-286-7856.  Then contact ASNV at or 703-438-6008 for payment. The ASNV fee is $25. There will also be a $10 fee for the police escort at the CBBT and a $10 fee for a tram ride at Back Bay—please bring cash for these charges.
Friday afternoon, January 29 through Sunday afternoon January 31.
Registration required.
ASNV Fee $25.  See description for additional costs.
Limit: 20 participants
See description for contact information.

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

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...

Nature's Exquisite Timing

On November 18, LoriAnne Barnett from the USA National Phenology Network ( will give a presentation on phenology, nature's timing.  Plants that are pollinated by insects or animals flower when those pollinators are available in the ecosystem.  Warblers migrate through or  raise their young when caterpillars emerge and become a major food source.   Migrating red knots time their spring stopover in Delaware Bay to fatten up for the next leg when horseshoe crabs come to the shore and lay eggs. 
"The study of how the biological world times natural events is called phenology," says the Network.  Phenology is nature's calendar.
The meeting is free and cosponsored by the American Horticultural Society, the Fairfax Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalists and the Georgetown University Center for the Environment.
It will be from 7:30 p.m. at the Huntley Meadows Park Visitor Center. If you use a GSP device to find the park, do not use the park's name.  Enter the park's address, 3701 Lockheed Boulevard, Alexandria, VA 22306.

78th Green Breakfast

Saturday, November 14, 2015
Breakfast begins at 8:30 am, $10 at the door, cash preferred.* Brion's Grille - 10621 Braddock Rd, Fairfax, VA 22032

Dr. Chris Jones, Professor-GMU Environmental Science & Policy and Director of Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center (PEREC)


The Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center (PEREC) is one of the key components of George Mason University's new Potomac Science Center. Its mission is to utilize the tools of scientific research, restoration, education, and policy analysis to help society understand and sustain natural processes in ecosystems, watersheds, and landscapes. Research focuses on Potomac River & Chesapeake Bay Restoration, Sustaining Natural Ecosystems in Suburban Areas, Impact of Global Climate Change on Management of Aquatic Ecosystems. In addition, PEREC provides Environmental Studies courses at GMU and K-12 and Community Education Programs.


Dr. Chris Jones is the Director of PEREC and is a professor with George Mason University. He has coordinated the Ecological Study of Gunston Cove, continuously since 1984, one of the longest running ecological studies in the nation.  He specializes in freshwater ecology, water quality, plankton ecology and stream bioassessments.


*Breakfast includes an all-you-can eat hot buffet with fresh fruit and coffee, tea, orange juice or water. If you would only like a beverage, please contact Northern Virginia Soil & Water at



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