October 2013
In This Issue
Christmas Bird Count
Wolf Trap Bird Inventory
Adult Education
Field Trips - Bird Walks
Advocacy Update
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

Occoquan Bay NWR
  • October 30 
  • November 27      
Meadowood on Mason Neck 
  • October 16  
  • November 13    
Butterfly and Dragonfly Surveys
Join Jim Waggener each Friday (April-October) in his ongoing survey of the butterflies and dragonflies at four locations in Fairfax and Prince William County.

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. (Note: Surveys may be cancelled for inclement weather.)
  • October 11 - Meadowood   
  • October 18 - Metz Wetlands
  • October 25 - Occoquan Regional Park
Eakin Park Bird Walk
Hidden Oaks Nature Center (FCPA) sponsors weekly bird walks along the Accotink Stream Valley. Mondays,
7:00 AM March-Nov.;
7:30 AM Dec - Feb.

Help 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.

Research Plant Value to Wildlife. ASNV is looking 
for a Virgina master naturalist, or other interested volunteer, willing to research the wildlife value of specific native plants. 

More information about these and other opportunities can be found here.

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 info@audubonva.org.
Christmas Bird Counts
Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count -
Sunday, December 15th

Join us for the 114th annual Christmas Bird Count. We are looking for people to count in the Manassas Battle Field area, Bull Run, and Manassas City areas as well as around Centerville, south of Dulles Airport, and Chantilly on Sunday, December 15th. This year, we will again 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  info@audubonva.org, or call 703-438-6008. More information will be provided in future.


Christmas Bird Count Workshop
October 13th, 2:00 PM
Come to our free CBC Workshop where you can learn about CBCs generally, our own CBC in particular, where the data goes and how it is used, and tips for learning or brushing up on your counting skills. It's on Sunday afternoon, October 13th (Redskins play at night). Time is 2 PM; place is the NWF building, 11100 Wildlife Center Dr, Reston. Please sign up at the above contact points

Wolf Trap Park Bird Inventory Update


Since we began in mid-May, some 30 ASNV volunteers have participated in our Wolf Trap Bird Survey.  Working in four teams, they have filed 50 checklists and reported 76 total species throughout the park.  Some highlights include: breeding Red-tailed Hawks and breeding Barred Owls, six woodpecker species (with the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker expected any day now), five species of flycatcher seen regularly throughout the summer, nine warbler species (none observed breeding), several sightings of Scarlet Tanagers, and one or two sightings of American Kestrel, Swainson's Thrush, Baltimore Oriole, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. The Wolf Trap Survey will continue through the fall and winter months.

Our own Glenda Booth has also written about the Wolf Trap Survey for the Chapter News section of the next issue of the Audubon magazine, so keep an eye out for this!  


And in case you missed it, Rusty Moran submitted a report on the Wolf Trap survey to the Virginia Society of Ornithologists, which appeared in the VSO fall newsletter.  

Thanks to all partcipants for your good work and continuing efforts!  

Adult Education
Little Brown Jobs

Need a little help with those "little brown jobs"?  House Finch vs. Pine Siskin?  Song vs. Savannah sparrows?   This workshop will concentrate on identification skills for some of the finches, sparrows, and other similar birds in our region, including both residents and migrants, just in time for the arrival of our cold weather birds.
Date:  October 24th

Limit 25.

Cost:  $30.00 for members, $40 for non-members.

Sign-up here.

The Lost Art of Birding By Ear - FULL

We often hear many more birds than we see.  Hidden in dense foliage or brush, their songs tease us.  If only we could identify their songs!  But, for most of us, learning bird songs is difficult.  Until now.
This workshop will concentrate on teaching you to identify some of our winter resident birds by their vocalizations.  Dr. Larry Underwood, author of the iKnow Bird Songs app, will help you learn to tell the Northern Flicker from the Pileated Woodpecker, the House Finch from the Purple Finch, just by listening.  We'll also explore specific techniques that make learning bird songs possible, easy, and downright fun.

Call ASNV at 703-438-6008 to be waitlisted.

Classroom:  Thursday, November 7, 2013, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm 
Field Trip:  Saturday, November 9, 2013, 8:00 am to 11:00 am

Cost: $25 for members, $35 for non-members.  


Volunteers Wanted


Do you love learning more about birds, native plants, and important native species? The education committee is looking for volunteers to help with setting up classes for the LEAP program. Work with knowledgable birders, Master Naturalists to coordinate Educational classes for ASNV members and the general public. Get to know the teachers. Learn about the logistics of class scheduling and pricing policy. Contact: Mary McLean, ASNV Ed. Committee. marydmclean@verizon.net or 703-966-2047    


Field Trips - Bird Walks

Sky Meadows State Park

Saturday, October 12, 8:00 AM

Registration required.
Red-headed Woodpeckers are the target species here, but we'll have our eyes open for everything. Moderate terrain, no strenuous hiking. Beginning birders welcome. Please register with Carol Hadlock, carol_inawren@verizon.netor 703-437-7451.

Getting there: Go west on Rt. 50 to Rt. 17. Turn left and follow the signs to Sky Meadows State Park.  Meet at the Visitor Center. Alternately, go west on Rt. 66 and then north on Rt. 17 to the park.  

Fee: There is an entrance fee.


Advocacy Update
Conservation Depends On You

Clean Water Is Critical to a Healthy Environment

Mark your calendar for the free Northern Virginia Watershed Workshop, October 5, 2013 10 AM to 4 pm, Northern Virginia Community College Ernst Community Center, Annandale Campus, 8333 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA. Read More... 

Virginia Will Elect Leaders 

What's on the ballot? Virginia Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Member House of Delegates, and more, depending on where you live.  Read more... 


Fairfax County Parks, Natural Resources Plan

FCPA Seeks Comments on Natural Resource Management Plan
The Fairfax County Park Authority will hold two public comment meetings on the agency's revised Natural Resource Management Plan. "This new plan is necessary to clarify the Park Authority's natural resource management philosophy, vision and direction moving forward and promote the stewardship of natural capital," say FCPA officials. Read more...

In Prince William County, planning is underway for the Dove's Landing Park.  You can find information here..   


Alexandria has major redevelopment projects underway, including Landmark Mall, Potomac Yard and the waterfront.  How about weighing in on parks and urging restoring degraded areas to a more natural state?  You can find information here about park planning involving Four Mile Run, Hensley, Ben Brenman and other parks.


Loudoun County has several projects underway including a Banshee Reeks Woods Road Project and the Hal & Berni Hanson Regional Park Project.  Learn more and speak up here.


Arlington County inventoried all its critters when it updated its natural resources management plan. To learn more about what's going on and opportunities to influence Arlington park planning, visit the master plan page and the  planning in design page. 

Outer Beltway


Plans are being discussed by various officials for an Outer Beltway, also called the Bi-County Parkway.  The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC), the Coalition for Smarter Growth, Southern Environmental Law Center, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and National Parks Conservation Association released a report, titled Rethinking the Bi-County Parkway.  These comments are from PEC:  "In that report, our transportation modeler showed that the Bi-County Parkway, does a very poor job of relieving congestion. In fact, building the road actually makes traffic worse. Read more ... 

Virginia Comes in at Zero

A September study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranked 34 U.S. cities on their actions to advance energy efficiency.  ACEEE included none - zero - in Virginia.  Read more... 


Other News
Hawk Migration Watch - (Sept. through Nov. -- Snickers Gap or Rockfish Gap). Every fall thousands of hawks migrate south, many of them following the Blue Ridge Mountains on their journey. There are several official hawkwatches in VA which monitor their numbers from year to year. The Snickers Gap & Rockfish Gap Hawkwatch seasons have begun and will continue until December 1st. Volunteers can literally see 1000's of raptors on a good day. More info on the  Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy or  Rockfish Gap Hawkwatch website

Birding is Up - "According to a National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation produced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to be released in October, approximately 47 million people observed birds around their homes or on trips in 2011," reports the American Birding Association. "Those birding experiences generated more than $92 billion in total industry output, 759,000 jobs, and $12 billion in local, state, and federal tax revenue. WOW, birders rock!"

Virginia Conservation Network 2013 Environmental Assembly - Participants had the opportunity, September 20-21, to hear experts address a broad range of topics including The Local Benefits of Clean Water, Climate Resiliency and Community Planning, Green Schools and Solar Schools, Turning the Tide: Transit in Hampton Roads, Water Supplies at Risk: Uranium Mining and Groundwater.  The VCN website has presentations and videos from the event.

Great Blue Herons - The population of Great Blue Herons is soaring in the Chesapeake Bay region.  Read an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The Bird Feeder in Reston 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...