September 2015

View this email in your browser

Quick Links

In this Newsletter

  • President's Corner
  • Audubon Afternoon
  • Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count Scheduled
  • Glenda Booth Appointed to the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation
  • NatureFest in Runnymede Park
  • Bring Nature Home to Your School
  • Costa Rica Here We Come!
  • 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

    • September 16
    • October 14

    Occoquan Bay NWR

    • September 30
    • October 28

    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 -September 4
    • Occoquan Bay NWR - September 11
    • Meadowood - September 18
    • Metz Wetlands - September 25

    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

    Signs of the season in my yard:  ruby-throated hummingbirds sipping from the cardinal flowers; the gratifying activity of the bees, large and small, all around the goldenrod.   So summer eases its way out, and with the cooler weather, new beginnings.   I just hope I’m not being too optimistic about the cooler weather.

    We’re trying something new ourselves this year at ASNV - a birding trip to Costa Rica, organized for ASNV members by Holbrook Travel.  Details are below.  If you are interested, it promises to be a great trip, with fellow ASNV members as travelling companions, and you will be helping out ASNV at the same time.  

    Congratulations to Glenda Booth on her appointment by Governor Terry McAuliffe to the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation to represent the Eighth Congressional District.  Glenda, of course, is our Advocacy Chair, and former ASNV Board member and Vice President.   

    Don’t miss our next Audubon Afternoon - Sunday, September 20, from 3 to 5, at the National Wildlife Federation building in Reston.  Dixie Sommers will speak to us about her recent birding trip to Cuba.  And show us pictures!

    And by all means, plan to get out to enjoy the fall.  Birds are on the move, and we have a number of bird walks scheduled - http://audubonva.org/index.php/environmental-education/field-trips.  And don’t forget about our Little Brown Jobs workshop coming up in October - http://audubonva.org/index.php/environmental-education/adult-education-classes.

    Have a good month. 
    Carl Kikuchi

    Audubon Afternoon

    Birding in Cuba
    Sunday, September 20, 2015

    Cuba hosts a diverse list of birds, including the world's smallest bird - the Bee Hummingbird - and about 2 dozen endemics.  Join us at the Audubon Afternoon on September 20, 3 to 5 p.m., for Dixie Sommers' presentation on her birding visit to Cuba in February 2015. She spent 2 weeks on the island, traveling to many locations to see tiny hummingbird, the Cuban Trogan, the Cuban Emerald, the Cuban Tody, Giant Kingbird, Stygian Owl, and 150 more species.  In addition to sharing her photos of birds, Dixie will give you a taste of Cuban sights and how Cuban's live today. 

    Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count Scheduled

    Join us for the 34th Annual Manassas-Bull Run Christmas Bird Count. This year the count will be on Sunday, December 20th.  To sign up for the count, click here. Keep your eyes peeled on the web site and Potomac Flier for updates. For more information contact the ASNV office at: info@audubonva.org.  
    New to the count or just want to brush up on your survey skills? Join us for our FREE CBC Workshop. You will learn about what we do during CBCs, where the data goes, how we count birds and how to hone on your counting skills.  The workshop will be on Sunday, November 1st at 2 PM (note: this is the ‘Skins bye week) and will be at the NWF building, 11100 Wildlife Center Dr, Reston. Light refreshments will be served. To register click here.

    Glenda Booth Appointed to the

    Virginia Land Conservation Foundation

    Governor Terry McAulifee appointed Glenda Booth to the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation to represent the Eighth Congressional District.  The Foundation manages the Virginia Land Conservation Fund. One function of the Foundation is to make matching grants to holders and public bodies for purchasing fee simple title to or other rights, interests or privileges in property for the protection of ecological, cultural or historical resources; lands for recreational purposes; lands for threatened or endangered species, fish and wildlife habitat; natural areas; and agricultural and forest lands and open space.  The governor appoints a member from each of Virginia's 11 Congressional districts.
    Glenda is a former ASNV Board member and Vice President and currently chairs the chapter's advocacy efforts. She is also president of the Friends of Dyke Marsh.

    NatureFest in Runnymede Park

    NatureFest in Runnymede Park
    195 Herndon Parkway, Herndon, VA
    Sunday, September 27, 1-5 PM

    This annual event celebrates the uniqueness of Runnymede Park.  It's fun, educational, and family-friendly with live animals and hands-on activities at every station.
    Our theme this year is "There's No Place Like Home." Audubon at Home and Fairfax Master Naturalists will be participating along with other ASNVers at the Birding station.  Stop by and say Hello.  For more information, contact Carol Hadlock at carol_inawren@verizon.net.

    Bring Nature Home to Your School

    ASNV will be offering a full scholarship to teacher’s camp at Hog Island, Maine. Check it out at hogisland.audubon.org

    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!!

    - Kate Sydney, 5th grade teacher at Glebe Elementary School in Arlington, VA

    Costa Rica Here We Come!

    Join us for an ASNV member trip to

    Costa Rica!

    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.  The highlands at Savegre are famous for the Resplendent Quetzal and we will have excellent chances to find this iconic, altitudinal migrant.  Some other high elevation cloud forest birds seen in the area are the Silky Flycatcher, Golden-browed Chlorophonia, the endemic Zeledonia, and numerous species of (rather tame) hummingbirds that visit the lodge’s feeders.

    The trip is organized by Holbrook Travel, for more information contact Debbie Sturdivant Jordan at 866-748-6146.  Includes $200 tax-deductible donation to ASNV.
    March 19-26, 2016
    $1545 per person in double, limited single rooms available for additional $185
    Limited to 12 participants
    More details at http://holbrook.travel/asnv2016


    Two Opportunities to Address Climate Change

    September 24, 10 a.m., People’s Rally for Climate Justice, on the National Mall between 4th and 7th Streets, NW, Washington, DC, a gathering in support of Pope Francis who will address Congress that day.

    September 28, 5 p.m., Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, listening session on President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, South County High School, 8501 Silverbrook Road, Lorton.  For information, see http://www2.epa.gov/cleanpowerplan.  National Audubon urges Auduboners to support President Obama's plan and Virginia's efforts to implement it.  We can urge state officials, executive and legislative branch, not to backtrack or block the plan.

    From now until November 3, many candidates for local and state offices will be meeting constituents, participating in candidate forums and seeking votes.  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, land conservation and enforcement of environmental laws.

    One source of information on key issues to raise with candidates for state offices is the Virginia Conservation Network at www.vcnva.org

    Who's running for what?  The candidates and ballot information are here:  http://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 http://elections.virginia.gov/index.php/media/calendars-schedules/special.html.

    How can you meet them?  Check with your candidates for debates and other events, as well as your local League of Women Voters.  For example, for Fairfax County, you can find their candidate events here:  http://www.lwv-fairfax.org/2015MeetandGreet.html.

    The federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, an entity that has helped preserve natural resources for 50 years, will expire on September 30.  National Audubon urges Auduboners to email members of Congress and urge them to support a permanent authorization of the Fund. Visit this NAS site for a sample letter:  https://secure.audubon.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1945

    The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) has supported 451 conservation projects on more than 3.7 million acres of critical bird habitat, helping birds like the Canada warbler and declining species such as the cerulean warbler, long-billed curlew, and red knot. Congress is now deciding whether or not to continue the program.  Congressman Ron Kind (WI-3) and Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-1) have introduced legislation in the House of Representatives, H.R. 2957, to reauthorize the NMBCA until 2020. Senator Ben Cardin (MD) has introduced a companion bill, S. 520. Auduboners can urge our federal representatives and senators to support these bills. You can find your representative at www.house.gov and our two U.S. senators, Senator Mark Warner and Senator Tim Kaine at www.senate.gov.

    Field Trips - Bird Walks



    Eakin Park, Fairfax County  VA

    Enjoy a walk through this neighborhood park with stream bed, woods, and sunny edges. Sponsored by the Northern Virginia Bird Club.  Leaders are Allie Guidry and Jean Tatalias. 

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


    September 9,

    8:30 AM


    Buttermilk Creek, Reston VA

    This walk takes us through meadow, forest, and around the back side of Lake Fairfax. This area can yield a nice variety of species.  Matt Bender will lead.  Sponsored by The Bird Feeder of Reston and the Reston Association.

    Getting there:  From the Dulles Toll Road West, exit north on Wiehle Avenue.  Go about 1.5 miles to the second entrance to N. Shore Drive on the right.  At the intersection of N Shore with Ring Road, turn into the parking lot for the swimming pool and tennis courts.  11032 Ring Road, Reston.


    Sunday, September 13,

    7:30 AM to 10:30 AM


    Bles Park,  Sterling VA

    The end of summer is a delightful time to bird this park, with woods and meadows along a level path.  Join our leader, Bill Brown, to enjoy the birds of the changing season.

    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.


    Sunday, September 20

    7:30 AM


    Huntley Meadows Hike and Bike Trail, Fairfax, VA

    Come for a level walk on the “back side” of Huntley Meadows, passing woods and fields on the way to the marsh overlooks at the water retention area.  We should catch some fall migrants in this mixed habitat.  Led by Pete Peters and Jean Tatalias.  Sponsored by the Northern Virginia Bird Club.

    Getting there:  From I-495 eastbound, take the exit to go South on Van Dorn Street.  At the end of the road, turn left on Telegraph Road and then immediately right onto Kings Highway.  The.park parking is on the right.   Alternately, from Arlington, take Route 1 south 0.5 miles to South Kings Highway.  Turn right (west) and go 2.5 miles to park entrance and lot on the left, just before Telegraph Road. 


    September 23,

    8:30 AM


    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

    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.  Pete Peters and Jean Tatalias 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, 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

    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 laura@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 Weekend Field Trip, VA

    Save the date!  Ray Smith will offer another field trip, to the Virginia Beach area.  More details to come in future newsletters. 

    Friday, January 29 to

    Sunday January 31

    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...

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