October 2015

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In this Newsletter

  • President's Corner  
  • Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count Sunday, December 20th
  • Two Upcoming Classes
  • Amazon Smile Donates to ASNV
  • Wolf Trap National Park Butterfly Walk
  • Hog Island, Maine Teaching Natural Resource Conservation
  • Field Trips To Check Out  
  • Advocacy
  • '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

  • October 14
  • November 11

Occoquan Bay NWR

  • October 28
  • November 25

Butterfly and Dragonfly Surveys

The butterfly/dragonfly surveys started up in April. The time is 8:30am - 12:00pm. The location and dates for July are:
  • Occoquan Regional Park -October 2
  • Occoquan Bay NWR - October 9
  • Meadowood - October 16
  • Metz Wetlands - Ocotber 23
  • Occoquan Regional Park - October 30 (final scheduled count for the season)

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 info@audubonva.org.

President's Corner

I haven't been very good about keeping an eye out for migrants in my yard, but I did spot a Rose-breasted Grosbeak this week, and an American Redstart about a week ago.  And one lone Monarch butterfly wafting by.  You can almost tell the migrants just by their behavior.  The summer residents, like the catbirds and House Finches, are pretty rambunctious - noisy, chasing each other around from perch to perch - while the migrants tend to survey the scene quietly from the edges, and then slip in to forage when the opportunity arises.  I'm happy they’re finding something to eat in my little patch.
Please join me in welcoming Barbara Tuset, who is taking over from Terry Liercke as Director of our Audubon at Home program.  Terry reports that he will continue to be active in the program, but, after six years, thinks it is time to scale back a bit.  We owe Terry a huge thank you - he has been the one responsible for getting the Audubon at Home Ambassador program up and running, and for forging connections and partnerships with other conservation organizations in our region.  Barbara will continue to coordinate with our regional partners in Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William, and Loudoun counties.  She is a Fairfax Master Naturalist, and has been active in conservation activities in the Clifton area.  She recently retired from Oracle Corporation.  And she adds that she could really use your help if you are ready to get involved!  Contact her at info@audubonva.org.

There are still some openings in upcoming workshops - Little Brown Jobs, Mammals, and Bob Shipman's Christmas Bird Count workshop.  More info later in this newsletter and on the website at http://audubonva.org/index.php/environmental-education/adult-education-classes and http://audubonva.org/index.php/conservation-a-counts/christmas-bird-count

We could use a few volunteers to help out in Clifton on Saturday, October 24, 6-9PM. The Clifton Haunted Trail committee has selected ASNV to receive a portion of their parking proceeds from this year's event, and in exchange, ASNV will provide volunteers to assist with parking directions. Recruits will be paired with residents to assist brave souls during their visit to Historic Clifton. Please email: info@audubon.org.

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    http://www.cfctoday.org/content/how-give.

Have a good month. 
Carl Kikuchi

Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count
Sunday, December 20th

Join us for the 116th annual Christmas Bird Count (34th for ASNV).  We are looking for people to count in the Manassas Battlefield area, Bull Run, and Manassas City areas as well as around Centerville, south of Dulles Airport, and Chantilly on Sunday, December 20th.  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 or yard 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, sign up using the EventBee registration system (www.eventbee.com/v/audubonva/event?eid=105434704).
Also, 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, November 1st (Redskins bye week).  Time is 2 PM; place is the NWF building, 11100 Wildlife Center Dr, Reston.  Please sign up using EventBee for the CBC Workshop (www.eventbee.com/v/audubonva/event?eid=165235102).

Two Upcoming Classes

Little Brown Jobs

Have you been wondering about all those “little brown jobs” in your backyard?  Could you use a little help distinguishing between the House Finches and the Pine Siskins? Song Sparrows and 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. Read more...

Mammals 102, Ecology, Behavior and Tracking

This class assumes you know the basics of what is a mammal and will go beyond that to delve into their ecology in northern VA. The class portion provides the background of the ecology of common mammals of Northern Virginia: how they live, reproductive strategies and how they interact with their habitat. You’ll also learn about how to study them directly in the wild. The field trip will teach students the habits of our local mammals and how to read their tracks and signs in hope of finding them. Read more...

Amazon Smile Donates to ASNV


AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support ASNV every time you shop at Amazon, at no cost to you. You’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to our chapter. Click here to learn more!

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

Wolf Trap National Park Butterfly Walk

In the past several years Wolf Trap National Park has been working to enhance the biodiversity found within the Park.  One of the major efforts was the planting of the Native Meadow, or pollinator garden, in the area in front of the Filene Center.  In 2013 the park initiated an All-Taxa Biodiversity Inventory with bee and wasp, butterfly and moth, and bird surveys.  In the first year alone 45 species of bees, 18 species of wasps and 25 species of butterflies were identified.  ASNV led the two-year bird survey which identified 130 species of birds.

On October 12, Columbus Day Monday, Sheryl Pollack will lead a bee and butterfly walk to explore the native fall wildflowers and the many pollinators thriving in this habitat. Sheryl has led the bee study at Wolftrap for three years and has amazing knowledge of bees and butterflies. Join us from 10:00 AM to Noon; meet at the Filene Center Box Office. 

Hog Island, Maine
Teaching Natural Resource Conservation

Once again, ASNV will offer a scholarship for $1000.00 to cover tuition, meals and housing for "Sharing Nature: An Educator's Week", Hog Island, Maine, July 17-22, 2016. For more information on Hog Island and the educator's week click on: hogisland.audubon.org/sharing-nature-educator-s-week. If you are a teacher or know a teacher who may be interested, please pass this information on. An application for the scholarship can be obtained by contacting info@audubonva.org.

Field Trips To Check Out

Have you checked out the bird walk list this month?  It appears below after the advocacy items. The list not only includes the local bird walks and the October "bee and butterfly walk."  It also includes two weekend birding trips organized by Ray Smith for December in the Northern Neck and January at Virginia Beach.  Winter offers great birding opportunities to see many species of waterfowl that come to our region only at this time of year.  The range of ducks and grebes is remarkable—and they're usually very cooperative in offering great views (unlike those frustrating fall warblers!)  The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Islands on the Virginia Beach trip offer the potential for sea ducks, loons, and gannets using the islands and deep waters under the bridge. Trips have a limited number of attendees, so check out the trips in the bird walk list and sign up now!


Conservation at the Ballot Box


Campaigns for many local and state offices across Northern Virginia are now in full swing.  Elections offer many opportunities for Auduboners to educate candidates about key conservation issues.  Local government officials in Virginia make many land use and other decisions that impact the environment. State legislators in 2016 will deal with issues like clean energy, pollution, land conservation and enforcement of environmental laws.

Who's running for what?  The candidates and ballot information are here:  elections.virginia.gov/index.php/casting-a-ballot/candidate-list. To find out about offices for which an election will be held this year, visit elections.virginia.gov/index.php/media/calendars-schedules/special.html.

Arlington Natural Resources Forum

On October 7, 7 p.m., you can discuss conservation issues with Arlington County Board candidates at a  Natural Resources County Board Candidates forum, sponsored by Arlington Parks Coalition, Arlingtonians for a  Clean Environment and TreeStewards. Some of the issues include the expansion of parks, recreation and community center services; stormwater management and watershed protection; air and water quality; natural resources like tree canopy and more.  This forum will be held at the Arlington Trade Center, Conference Room, 2700 S. Taylor Street, Arlington.

Voting in the November 3 Election - Important Dates and Deadlines


Absentee Voting:  In many jurisdictions, you can vote in person before November 3. Check with your local elections board for dates, times and places.  You can also vote by absentee ballot by mail.  Check with your local elections board for details and deadlines.

Registering to Vote:  To vote on November 3, you must register by October 13, 5 p.m.; online, 11:59 p.m.    You must be 18 by November 3.  (If you are registered at your current address, you do not need to register again.) 

November 3, Election Day Voting:   Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.  People with disabilities can have a ballot brought to the car on Election Day.

Parks Needs Survey


The Fairfax County Park Authority has released the results of a Park and Recreation Needs Assessment Survey which park officials say provides "a glimpse of the recreational preferences of Fairfax County residents. . .   The survey is one piece of the needs assessment that ultimately seeks to create a balanced park system that takes into account all public recreational facilities and addresses citizen recreational aspirations."  Read More


You Can Help Curb Greenhouse Gas Emissions


Auduboners Glenda Booth and Jenny Campbell attended a three-hour meeting in Lorton on September 28 sponsored by Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) officials who are preparing the state's plan to implement President Obama's Clean Power Plan, a plan to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change.  
Read More 


'Field Trips - Bird Walks

Lake Fairfax Park, Reston, VA

Join us for a walk along the lake edge and through the surrounding woods, watching for the diverse birds this habitat can yield.  Bill Brown leads
Getting there: Take Route 7 west (or the Toll Road to Hunter Mill Rd north) and then take a left on Baron Cameron Ave.  Left on Lake Fairfax Drive to 1400.  Go past the water park and the visitor center, to the parking lot on the right.
Sunday October 4
7:30 AM

Sunrise Valley Wetland and Polo Field, Reston, VA

This small pond and woodland can turn up some surprising migrants.  Bill Brown will help us find them. Sponsored by The Bird Feeder of Reston and the Reston Association.

Getting there: From the Dulles Toll Road, go south on Fairfax County Parkway.  Turn right (west) on Sunrise Valley Drive.  Just beyond the Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride, turn into ASG Software Solutions.  Park on the west side of the building.
Sunday October 11
7:30 -10:30 AM

Wolf Trap National Park, Reston, VA

Join us and explore the native meadows at Wolf Trap!  The fall flowers should be in peak bloom and covered with pollinators.  We will learn about the various butterflies, bees, wasps, and flower flies that reside there.  The walk is led by Sheryl Pollack who has led the bee study at Wolf Trap for three years.

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.
Monday, October 12
10:00 AM – Noon
Bees and butterflies walk

Eakin Park, Fairfax County, VA

Experience the park in the fall as we enjoy the woods and look for any late migrants and early winter arrivals.  Elizabeth Fenton and Jean Tatalias lead. Sponsored by the Northern Virginia Bird Club.

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, October 14
8:30 AM

Manassas National Battlefield Park,  Manassas VA

Fall is a great time to visit and bird the meadows and streams of the battlefield.  We’ll watch for raptors, sparrows, woodpeckers and more. Led by Larry Meade.  We'll meet at the Visitor Center where parking without a pass is permitted.  Then we’ll carpool to birding sites, to maximize the use of park passes - bring your pass if you have one!!

Getting there:  Travel west on I-66 to Exit 47B, Route 234 North (Sudley Road). Proceed through the first traffic light. The entrance to the Henry Hill Visitors Center is on the right, just past the Northern Virginia Community College. 6511 Sudley Road, Manassas, VA 20109
Sunday, October 25
8:00 AM
Bring national park pass if you have one, so we can share in carpools.

Burke Lake Park, Fairfax Station, VA

The lake can offer waders and waterfowl, with woodland and field birding along easy walking terrain. Leaders Pete Peters and Jean Tatalias.  Sponsored by the Northern Virginia Bird Club.

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.
Wednesday, October 28
8:30 AM

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 bluebird58@verizon.net. Then contact the Audubon office to pay the registration and confirm your place:  703-438-6008 or info@audubonva.org.  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 bluebird58@verizon.net or call 571-286-7856.  Then contact ASNV at info@audubonva.org or 703-438-6008 for payment. The ASNV fee is $25; there will be some small additional costs for the police escort at the CBBT and a potential tram ride at Back Bay.
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

Various www.bansheereeksnp.org

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, http://www.nvabc.org/trips.htm


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...

Decision on Greater Sage Grouse

Thanks to North America’s largest land conservation project in history - an effort in which Audubon played a leading and integral role - the Greater Sage-Grouse will not require federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. Read Audubon's press release here. Talking points and key messages can be found on Audubon Works*.

Audubon Bird Guide App Now Available Free

The updated Audubon Bird Guide app is now FREE to bird lovers nationwide! With 821 species profiles and 3200-plus world-renowned bird photos, Audubon's award-winning app instantly turns any mobile device into the most trusted field guide in North America. App includes bird IDs, bird calls, migratory range maps, local bird sightings

To download the free Audubon Bird Guide app, go to www.audubon.org/apps. It's available on the Apple store, Google Play, and Amazon.

Copyright 2015 Audubon Society of Northern Virginia. All rights reserved.


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