Welcome from the ASNV President

Hello Everyone!

There’s a lot of news I’d like to pack into a small space so let me begin by urging everyone to attend our December 10 Nature Night from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Merrifield Garden Center in Fairfax (please note the earlier starting time). We’re going to have a wonderful set of speakers, including Bob Ake from the Virginia Society of Ornithology and Fletcher Smith, a research biologist from William and Mary who will talk about the amazing Whimbrel migration tracking program. We’ll also vote on two new Board members, and will have an opportunity to mingle a bit and get caught up with one another.

But, before then we and the Northern Virginia Bird Club will be giving a series of bird walks celebrating the fifth anniversary of DGIF’s Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trails. These walks will take place on November 14 and 15 at Riverbend, Occoquan NWR and Dyke Marsh (more details below, in our fieldtrip section). We also have a bunch of our regular walks taking place every week and Ray Smith’s weekend trip to the Northern Neck in December.

Due to necessary structural repairs to the Packard Center, we will probably be forced to move from that location. On the positive side, we have received a wonderful offer from a national environmental group, and are trying to figure a way to make that work. We will be putting additional information about this on our website. But, in the meantime, please save December’s date for Nature Night and hit the trails on some of our regular outings.

See you soon and stay in touch - Bruce

New Board Member Nominations

Please attend our Nature Night to cast your vote

The nominating committee will present two potential new board members for ASNV members to vote on at our next Nature Night on December 10. Board member nominations have traditionally taken place at our annual meeting in May or June. However, due to vacancies created by several recent retirements from the board we would like to bring these folks on now to help out with the many exciting projects currently underway. If voted in, these members would fill those vacancies and their three-year terms would begin on January 1, 2010.

Marilyn Gaizband - Marilyn is a native of Washington, DC and longtime resident of the Metropolitan area. She is a recently retired marketing executive and longtime nature photographer who loves taking pictures of birds. Over the last several years, Marilyn has traveled extensively on a variety of photographic safaris in Africa, Central and South America, the Falkland Islands, the Galapagos Islands and throughout North America. This month she heads to the annual polar bear "convention" in Churchill, Manitoba. An artist at heart, Marilyn has taken her nature photography to new heights by creating colorful and intriguing kaleidoscopic designs in Photoshop that she calls Kaleidimals. Her photographic work has been exhibited widely throughout the DC/Northern VA area and she has received numerous awards and accolades. When she is not behind a camera or sitting in front of a computer, you can usually find Marilyn volunteering for a variety of non-profits around town. She is currently working with Miriam's Kitchen, Fairfax Hospital and Huntley Meadows Park. Marilyn has formerly served on the board of The Sailing Club of Washington and currently is on the Board of the Northern Virginia Photographic Society. She lives with her husband, Sam Schaen, and their two cats in Annandale.

Mary McLean – Mary, a long-time resident of Northern Virginia, has been involved with Tuckahoe Elementary’s Outdoor Education program for many years. She is presently Tuckahoe’s Outdoor Education Program Coordinator. The beautiful and artfully-made wildlife habitats, gardens and outdoor classroom spaces at Tuckahoe have inspired many other schools in Northern Virginia to create their own outdoor education programs. Mary’s work at Tuckahoe has also been instrumental in guiding our chapter’s Audubon at Home in Northern Virginia program. Mary was a lead presenter at ASNV’s Environmental Education symposium in 2006 and has attended several of our chapter’s events over the years. She is also involved with Arlington Master Naturalists and ACE, Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment.

Upcoming Field Trips

Registration is not required unless noted. Contact the ASNV office at 703-256-6895 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.

Algonkian Regional Park

Tuesday, November 10, 8:30 AM
Red-headed woodpeckers have returned to the Algonkian Regional Park and Bill Brown knows where to find them. Other winter birds could also be arriving.

Getting there: From Rt. 7, heading west, turn on Cascades Parkway, north, and continue into the park. Turn left at the sign for the swimming pool and meet in the parking lot. From Fairfax Co. Pkwy, go north, cross Rt. 7. Street name becomes Holly Knoll Dr., then becomes Algonkian Pkwy. Turn right on Cascades Pkwy and continue as above.

Celebrate Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trails

Walks at each location will be led by various ASNV and NVBC members. Each will last approximately 1-2 hours, depending on the leaders and the birds. Bring your friends and neighbors and let us introduce them to the natural beauty of Northern Virginia.

Saturday, November 14, 8:00 AM and 9:00 AM
Occoquan Bay NWR, Dawson Beach Rd., Woodbridge (US fee area)
Meet in the parking lot.

Riverbend Park, Jeffery Rd., Great Falls
Meet at the Visitor Center.

Sunday, November 15, 8:00 AM
Dyke Marsh, Belle Haven off of GW Parkway
Meet in the picnic area.

Lake Newport and Brown’s Chapel, Reston

Sunday, November 15, 7:30-10:30 AM
Kevin Munroe will lead this exploration of an under-birded area in Reston. Lake, open field and wooded habitats should yield a variety of species.

Getting there: From Baron Cameron Ave. in Reston, across from the entrance to Lake Anne Plaza, turn on Brown's Chapel Rd. and then immediately right. Park at the ballfields by Brown's Chapel.

Teen Birding

Sunday, November 22, 1-6 PM
Open to interested birders in grades 7-12. Destination to be decided based on reports of bird activity. Fred Atwood and Nolan Britt lead the group. For information, email Fred at fredatwood@yahoo.com (type Teen Birding in the subject line) or call 703-242-1675 and leave a message.

A Weekend of Birding in the Northern Neck of Virginia,

December 11-13
Meet in the parking lot of the Best Western in Warsaw, Virginia, at 3:00 PM. (4544 Richmond Rd., Rt. 360) Friday. Highlights will include Washington’s Birthplace, spots along the Coastal VA Birding Trail to the Chesapeake Bay and back along the Rappahannock River. Head for home Sunday afternoon. Expect to find ducks, including sea ducks, swans, snow geese, wintering grassland birds, raptors and more.

Ray Smith will lead. Limit is 20. Reservations required. To reserve a spot, email Ray at smiths@dogwooddg.com or call 703-620-2540.

Advocacy Update: Conservation Depends on You

Vote for Conservation on November 3

Don’t forget to vote on November 3 when Virginians will elect a new governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and all members of the House of Delegates. In-person absentee voting starts soon.

Visit http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/cms/Election_Information/Index.html for voting information, including candidates who have filed and a sample ballot for your area. You can find out how your incumbent state legislator was rated based on their conservation votes at http://www.valcv.org/. The Virginia League of Conservation Voters had endorsed candidates for the November 3 election. You can read their endorsements and the candidate questionnaires at this site as well.

Climate Vote Coming Soon

The Audubon Societyhas always stood for birds, wildlife and healthy habitats. Now we need to speak out for strong climate legislation and the resources we need to protect the natural places and creatures that we love.

We need to tell our senators that we want:
  • Strong climate legislation this year to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Legislation that protects birds, wildlife, natural resources and ecosystems by dedicating 5% of revenues for wildlife and habitat protection and adaptation. These funds would increase the resources of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act, the Endangered Species Act and other successful conservation programs, national wildlife refuges and other protected lands and waters. Addressing climate change is not complete without funds for healthy ecosystems.
The Senate will consider global warming legislation very soon. Now is the time to act. Please take the time to contact your senators, and share your thoughts.

Here’s how to reach our U.S. senators:
Senator James Webb, U. S. Senate, Washington, D. C. 20515
Senator Mark Warner, U. S. Senate, Washington, D. C. 20515

If you prefer email, you can send an e-mail through your senator’s web site or through Audubon’s Action Center, www.audubonaction.org.

For fact sheets on global warming, visit http://www.audubon.org/globalWarming/GetTheFacts.php.

Sharpen Your Advocacy Skills

November 14, 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
On November 14, you can learn all about how to be a more effective conservation advocate at a free skills-building workshop. Topics include how to build a relationship with government officials, quick tips for advocacy and working with the media to achieve your conservation goals. For more information, please contact Lauren Glickman at 804-335-0915 or lauren@chesapeakeclimate.org or Linda Burchfiel at 703-506-4319 or Linda@lburchfiel.com.

Getting there: Braddock Government Center, 9002 Burke Lake Road, Springfield, VA 220-15 (near the Beltway, take exit 54, Braddock Road west)

More Parks?

Fairfax County Auduboners have some forthcoming opportunities to advocate for more parks, more natural areas and more environmental education. The director of the Fairfax County Park Authority is having a series of “listening sessions” around the county to learn people’s concerns and ideas for improving our parks.

The forums are held on Thursday nights at 7 PM
October 22, Laurel Hill Golf Clubhouse
November 19, Fairfax County Government Center
January 21, 2010, Cabell’s Mill
February 18, 2010, Frying Pan Park

For more info, call 703-324-8662 or visit http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/living/parks/.

Richmond Demystified

Join other conservationists in Richmond on December 5, from 9 AM - 1 PM, for a legislative training day. Experts will give briefings on issues expected in the 2010 session of the General Assembly and offer tips for achieving our goals. For a tutorial on the state legislature, check out General Assembly 101 at www.vcnva.org. If you would like to carpool, contact Glenda Booth at gbooth123@aol.com. There are also regular Amtrak trains to Richmond.

Work for ASNV

ASNV has a part-time position available (20-32 hours per week) for a staff naturalist and environmental education coordinator. The job entails the following:
  • Play a lead role in planning and carrying out the Audubon At Home program in Northern Virginia; help recruit, train and coordinate volunteers for various activities.
  • Coordinate and deliver presentations to the community. This may include leading field trips, representing ASNV at meetings or with public media, planning Nature Nights and organizing information booths.
  • Consult with property owners, both public and private, on natural resource management, eco-friendly restoration and environmentally responsible landscaping and management practices.
A Bachelor's degree in environment-related subjects or equivalent training/experience in the environmental field is required. The successful applicant will have a good knowledge of local flora and fauna, extensive experience in environmental education and familiarity with managing environmental resources in the urban and suburban context. Experience teaching and working with volunteers is a plus.

For a full job description and qualification requirements, go to www.audubonva.org/index.php/job-description. Application deadline October 23.

Can You Join our Mystery Bird ID Team?

People occasionally call ASNV to get help with identifying unusual birds that they see in their yards. We would like to build a list of relatively experienced birders who would be willing to help us respond to such requests. This might involve a phone call to the requester or a visit to their location, if nearby. If you can help, please call Jill Miller at 703-256-6895 or send an email to info@audubonva.org.

Take the LEAPP®!

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 703-256-6895. 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.

After a successful summer, our Education Committee and LEAPP® volunteers are taking a short break from the classroom to plan a number of new and returning workshops for the winter and spring. Please visit us online for more information about our upcoming programs and other ASNV activities.

Conservation Counts at Occoquan Bay NWR

Join Jim Waggener in his ongoing survey of the birds and other wildlife of Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Limit: 4 individuals. Reservations required. Call Jim at 703-567-3555 for reservations and details.

Getting there
Take I-95 to Woodbridge exit 161. Go south on Rt. 1 to Dawson Beach Road, turn left, and go to the central parking area.

Upcoming dates
Wednesdays: October 28, November 11, November 25 and December 2.

Conservation Counts at Meadowood

Join Jim Waggener in his ongoing survey of the birds and other wildlife of Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area on Mason Neck. Limit: 4 individuals. Reservations required. Call Jim at 703-567-3555 for reservations and details.

Getting there
Take I-95 to Lorton exit 163. Turn left on Lorton Road, right on Rt. 1, and left on Gunston Road. About a mile past the elementary school you will see Meadowood’s horse pastures and signs on the right. Enter through the iron gateway, drive straight ahead, and park by the stables.

Upcoming dates
Wednesdays: October 21, November 4, November 18 and December 9.

Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count

Our annual Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count will be on Sunday, December 20th. This year, we will be offering an opportunity for feeder watchers. If you or someone you know lives in the count circle and cannot go on the count, he or she can sit inside and count the birds that come to a feeder on count day as another way to participate.

If you helped us last year, your sector leader will be contacting you in November. If you are new to our CBC and want to volunteer or would like to be in a different sector, contact the ASNV office by e-mail at info@audubonva.org, or call 703-256-6895.

More information will be provided in future newsletters.

You Can 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 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.

ASNV, 4022 Hummer Road, Annandale, VA 22003 • Phone: 703-256-6895 • Fax: 703-256-2060 • Email: info@audubonva.org
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