Hello Everybody!

Beautiful birding weather lately, isn't it? Which reminds me to thank all those who came out to hear David Bryan at our recent Audubon Afternoon and to give you a head's-up that our December event will have a wonderful speaker so check out our website for details. We want it to be a festive occasion, bring the kids, and you can even get a little Christmas shopping in!

We'll also be gearing-up shortly for our December Christmas bird count and our January winter waterfowl count. Whether you are an experienced birder or a newcomer, we hope you'll get ahold of us and sign-up; we'd love to have you.

There will also be a few other changes after the first of the year. Our administrative backbone, Jill Miller, will be moving on and come Spring, we'll be looking for a replacement to come into our spaces at the National Wildlife Federation in Reston for a 12-15 hour week spread over three half days. The board hasn't finalized salary details yet but it will be modest and we'd hope that the principal draw would be the fun of helping out in addition to the remuneration. And of course, by next June we will be looking for possibly new committee chairs, possibly new board members, and a replacement for me since I'll keep my hand in on the board but will be moving on to replace John Coe of the Richmond Audubon Chapter as President of the Virginia Audubon Council. So, if you would like to become more active in your support, have just a little extra time on your hands, we'll be looking your way in 2012.

Happy birding, and please stay in touch, Bruce

ASNV Seeks Administrator

ASNV is accepting applications to fill our part-time administrative position beginning in Spring 2012. The position consists of a 12-15 hour work week spread among 3 half days at our space at the headquarters of the National Wildlife Federation in Reston.

The position calls for someone with good people skills to respond to inquiries and be detail oriented because he/she will also handle book-keeping and other duties, including membership correspondence with the National Audubon Society. A love of or interest in birds will be a definite plus but otherwise the successful applicant will need to be Internet savvy, be familiar with MS Office and have a familiarity or willingness to learn Quickbooks, and an ability to handle correspondence.

For further information, please contact: info@audubonva.org.

Reforest Fairfax

Just in time for you holiday shopping, a way to remember friends and loved ones and help your local environment!

The Fairfax County Restoration Project is proud to introduce a new initiative: Reforest Fairfax, a gifting program designed to help restore the tree canopy in Fairfax County. For each gift purchased, five tree seedlings will be planted by Fairfax ReLeaf during the upcoming planting season, either Spring or Fall. The gift of trees will help beautify and improve the environment of Fairfax County. Tree gifts are appropriate for any occasion, including client thank-yous, fundraisers, corporate promotions, loyalty program awards, teacher appreciations, birthday and graduation presents, and baby and wedding gifts. For more information and to purchase trees visit the Fairfax County Restoration Project's website.

Reforest Fairfax is an initiative of the Fairfax County Restoration Project (FCRP), a public-private partnership. The Fairfax County Office of Public Private Partnerships supported and facilitated the formation of the FCRP, whose mission is to strengthen the relationship between people and nature through community action. FCRP works to connect, create, and promote efforts to restore ecosystem functions in Fairfax County through collaboration with public, private, and volunteer organizations.

Audubon at Home Workshops

We have started a new series of Audubon at Home workshop to provide enrichment for Audubon at Home clients and additional training for our volunteer Ambassadors. These programs vary for 1.5 – 3 hours and are typically held in private homes or local parks. Workshop will be offered free to current and trainee Audubon at Home Ambassadors.

Dealing with Invasive Exotics

Sunday, October 23, 1 - 3 PM
Join English ivy, porcelain berry, wisteria, oriental bittersweet... the list of invasive exotics goes on! Jenn Troung, former invasive exotics program coordinator for the Cooperative Extension office in Arlington will guide us on how to identify some of the more common invasive exotics and how to control them in your yard and neighborhood. This program will include both classroom and field components. For directions and additional information, click here.

Learn More Online...

Visit our website to learn more about Audubon at Home, these workshops, and to read our blog. Each workshop is limited to 12 participants. Contact the ASNV office at 703-438-6008 or info@audubonva.org for more information and to reserve your space.

Upcoming Field Trips

Registration is not required 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.

Runnymede Park, Herndon

Saturday, October 29, 8 AM
Join Jay and Carol Hadlock for a walk along Sugarland Run, looking for early fall migrants. The path is natural surface and may be muddy in places, and there is a rocky stretch. Wear appropriate footwear. For directions and additional information, click here.

Riverbend Park

Saturday, November 19, 8 AM
Stroll along the Potomac, with Carol and Jay Hadlock, checking the river for early waterfowl and the woods for winter residents.For directions and additional information, click here.

Buttermilk Creek and Lake Fairfax

Sunday, November 20, 7:30-10:30 AM
Kevin Munroe will lead this walk through the forest and around the lake. Most of the trees will have lost their leaves—great for finding birds! For directions and additional information, click here.

Northern Neck Weekend

Friday, December 2, 3 PM - Sunday, December 4
Reservations required. Cost: $20. Limit 20. RSVP to Ray Smith at 571-286-7856 or bluebird58@verizon.net. Please make checks payable to ASNV and mail to the office at 11100 Wildlife Center Drive, Suite 100, Reston, VA 20190.
Ray Smith will again lead this popular weekend of early winter birding. We begin around Warsaw, VA, on Friday afternoon, spend all day Saturday from George Washington’s birthplace, down the Potomac to the Chesapeake Bay and back up the Rappahanock, to Warsaw. Sunday morning we will bird the Rappahannock Valley NWR and travel back towards Fredericksburg, birding several private ponds along Rt. 3. Click here for complete details, directions and reservation / payment information.

And more!!

Remember to check our website regularly for more walks, classes and other activities.

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 703-438-6008. 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.

Christmas Bird Count Workshop

Ever wonder how and why we count birds on a Christmas Bird Count? Want to improve your counting skills? Want to get ready for ASNV’s 2011 CBC, which will be held on December 18? Curious about what each team member on a CBC does? Come and find out the answers to these questions and more. ASNV will offer a CBC workshop to share experiences and discuss techniques for maximizing the number of birds counted when you are in the field. This workshop is for all levels, whether you are a new birder or a regular who wants to find out how to be a sector leader. To register, contact the ASNV office via phone (703-438-6008) or email.

When: Sunday, October 30, 2PM
Where: 11100 Wildlife Center Drive, Reston.
Cost: Free
Instructor: Bob Shipman, CBC Coordinator
Limit: 12 participants

Advocacy Update: Conservation Depends on You

Protecting Virginia – the Fight for Clean Air and Water

Saturday, November 12, 1-4:30 PM
National Wildlife Federation, 11100 Wildlife Center Drive, Reston, Virginia 20190

  • Hear experts address clean air and water problems in Virginia.
  • Learn about barriers and solutions.
  • Develop strategies to influence the 2012 Virginia General Assembly.
Why attend?
  • No habitat = no birds.
  • Virginia only has a voluntary renewable energy standard and minimal plans to address climate change.
  • Dominion Power is building a new coal-fired power plant, in part to address northern Virginia’s growing energy demands.
  • Northern Virginia violates the ozone or smog standard.
  • Many in the U.S. Congress are trying to disable the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Learn how to become an advocate and make a difference in Virginia.
Hosted by NOVACAN, the Northern Virginia Climate Action Network, a coalition of 10 environmental groups representing over 25,000 Northern Virginians, and the Virginia Conservation Network. (ASNV is a partner and co-founder of NOVACAN.)

Learn more: Glenda Booth, ASNV Advocacy Chair; gbooth123@aol.com; www.novacan.org and www.vcnva.org.

Please note:This is a new date. This event was previously scheduled for October 16 and was postponed to November 12.

November 8 Election in Virginia

Virginians will elect the entire General Assembly (House of Delegates and state Senate) on November 8. Many jurisdictions will elect local officials, a Commonwealth's Attorney and Soil and Water Commissioners. To learn who has filed as a candidate, election calendars, ballot issues and offices on the November ballot, visit the Virginia State Board of Elections by clicking here.

In-person “Absentee” Voting

      Check with your local elections board on where, when and how to vote “absentee” in-person, ahead of time.

Absentee Voting by Mail Ballot

      The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot by mail is Tuesday, November 1, 5:00 p.m. Your voted ballot must be received by your local elections board by 7 p.m. November 8.

Registering to Vote

      To vote on November 8, you must register by October 17. You must be 18 by November 8.

In-Person Voter Registration Deadline

      Monday, October 17, 4:30 p.m. (If you are registered at your current address, you do not need to register again.)

By Mail, Voter Registration Deadline

    Postmarked by October 17.

Join a Legislative Contact Team Today

You can help make democracy work for the environment. Join the educated, committed conservationists who serve on Legislative Contact Teams across Virginia. These teams of friends and neighbors commit to meeting with their elected officials before and during the General Assembly session. Virginia Conservation Network and the Virginia League of Conservation Voters provide the teams with accurate, timely information on natural resource issues coming before the General Assembly.

Thanks to these volunteers, state lawmakers hear directly from their voters about critical environmental issues. Most state egislators report that as few as five phone calls represent a “groundswell’ of interest on any given issue. Your input really does make a difference.

Want to help? Visit www.vcnva.org and click "get involved." After signing up for a Legislative Contact Team, you will receive a welcome packet with the information you need to get started, including the name of your legislators and other volunteers in your district.

Gear Up for the General Assembly

Save the date, December 3, for the Virginia Conservation Network’s annual legislative workshop in the state capitol in Richmond. The morning sessions will be issues presentations. Afternoon sessions will focus on advocacy.

Legislators' Conservation Voting Record

Learn how your elected representatives voted on key conservation issues in 2011 by visiting the League of Conservation Voters online.

Merrilee Park

The Fairfax County Park Authority is holding a public comment meeting on the draft master plan for Merrilee Park located at 2733 Hartland Road in Falls Church on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church. The draft park master plan is available online (pdf download) or in hardcopy from the Fairfax County Park Authority in the Herrity Building, 12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 406, Fairfax, Virginia.

The meeting will feature a brief presentation outlining the site’s current conditions and draft master plan. Following the presentation, the meeting will continue with a moderated public comment session to allow input on the draft park plan. If you would like to speak at the meeting or desire more information, please contact Public Information Officer Judy Pedersen at 703-324-8662 or via email. Speakers may also sign up at the meeting.

Comments on the plan will be received by the Park Authority for 30 days after the meeting. All comments must be received by November 25 in order to be included in the official public record. Comments may be mailed (Attention: Project Manager Gayle Hooper, Planning and Development Division, Fairfax County Park Authority, 12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 421, Fairfax, VA 22035) or emailed.

The Park Authority describes the parks as follows: "Merrilee Park, which is slightly greater than one acre in size, is located in Providence Supervisory District and situated immediately adjacent to I-495. Merrilee Park lies within the Merrifield Suburban Area which envisions the future redevelopment of the Merrifield area with a sustainable, urban character. Merrilee Park will be planned to serve the needs of the community today with an eye towards the Merrifield envisioned in the Comprehensive Plan... The master planning process for Merrilee Park will focus on serving the open space needs of the surrounding community within an urban context. This process will take into account community preferences, planned development and park facility needs as well as site related issues such as safe pedestrian access, impacts from the HOT Lanes construction, site assets and physical constraints. All information and alternatives will be evaluated towards determining the best possible design for this park."

Virginia Seeks Comments on “Non-game” Species

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is seeking public comments on wildlife diversity or 'non-game' regulations in the state as part of a biennial review. Until November 30, DGIF will be in the scoping phase.

Here’s DGIF’s description: "Wildlife diversity includes regulation of those wildlife species not hunted, fished or trapped. In this earliest, scoping stage of the current regulatory review process, VDGIF staff is soliciting the public's views on what changes in regulations citizens would like to see. During this period, staff also collects and analyzes biological and sociological data relevant to regulatory issues. Such information typically includes constituent satisfaction survey results, conversations or meetings with constituents in groups and individually, and other forms of feedback from the public that occurs continuously including before the scoping period."

Current regulations address issues such as animal population control, feeding of deer and bear and poisoning birds and animals.

You can submit your comments online.

Upcoming Events

Save the date!

Our annual Christmas Bird Count will be on December 18. More details coming soon...

Conservation Counts

Join Jim Waggener in his ongoing wildlife surveys at two of Northern Virginia's best birding spots. Surveys are held on scheduled Wednesdays, alternating 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. Call Jim at 703-567-3555 for more details or to reserve your space.

Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Upcoming dates
  • October 26
  • November 30
  • December 28
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.

Meadowood on Mason Neck

Upcoming dates
  • November 16
  • December 14
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.

Butterfly and Dragonfly Surveys

Join Jim Waggener each Friday, from April through October, in his ongoing survey of the butterflies and dragonflies at four locations in Fairfax and Prince William Counties. Limit: 4 individuals each week. Reservations required. Call Jim at 703-567-3555 for reservations and directions.

Note: Surveys may be cancelled for inclement weather.

Upcoming dates:
  • October 21, Occoquan Bay NWR
  • October 28, Meadowood

Eakin Park Bird Walk

Every Monday morning, weather permitting

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 a.m. Dec. through Feb. and 7:00 a.m. the rest of the year. No need to sign up. The walk generally goes for a couple of 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 Cliff Fairweather at cliff@audubonva.org or 703-256-6895.

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, 11100 Wildlife Center Drive, Suite 100, Reston, Va 20190
703-438-6008 • info@audubonva.org

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