JUNE NEWS


I hope this finds everyone reasonably dry. I hope some of this rain will come in August when we need it.  It has been great for our garden plants and the WEEDS!

We are in the season of "slow birding".  So why not take the time to bush up on your Bird Sounds identifications!  There are many wonderful programs and CD's available that you can listen to at home or in the car. When the leaves are out and it is hard to see the birds, "birding-by-ear" getting you out and enjoying nature!


BREAKING NEWS: The Winchester Eagles has successfully raised Three Eaglets!  We know one has fledged and the others can't be far behind!  It is very rare to have triplets!



We went camping at Big Bend State Park which is SW of Petersburg, WV last month.  The first evening we had a stunning rainbow.  And the Paw Paws were in full bloom!



We apparently camped close to an American Redstart nest. The male and female were constantly around us.  We found a nest close by but could not prove who was using it.



We also saw several Baltimore Orioles.  This one appears to be a first year Oriole.



Some of the birds were fearless.  We were the ones who were afraid the Cardinal would take up house keeping in the truck.  The Veery didn't seen to care whether we photographed him or not.



Closer to home in our backyard, there were two Rat Snakes who decided it was time to mate. Charlie said they were "quite aerobic".  In the first picture they are up against a stone wall watching Charlie.  The second one is of the "dance" where they are standing up together.  We are looking forward to a family of Rat Snakes soon!



Elect Conservation-minded Officials Local Issue Primaries will be held around the state on June 12 for many offices, primarily local and federal.  On November 6, Virginians will elect 11 members to the U.S. House of Representatives and one person to the U.S. Senate. To learn who is running, visit the State Board of Elections at  Be sure to note deadlines for registering and voting absentee. Campaigns provide advocates opportunities to learn candidates’ views and proposals and opportunities to influence them.  Click here for the scorecard for how members of Congress voted on conservation legislation.

Suing the Federal Government to Protect Birds
In December the Department of the Interior declared it won't enforce the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for any unintentional bird deaths caused by injury. Many causes of bird fatalities—including oil spills—could fall into this “unintentional” category, so the National Audubon Society is taking this to court. Now more than ever we need you to help defend the law that has protected the birds we all treasure.


A resident of Charles Town, WV posted on e-bird this wonderful story and video: I stopped putting suet baskets on the tree since a pair of crows have discovered it.  Not wanting to deny my other birds I put a suet cake on the tray by the kitchen window.  Well, a male Pileated has found it and is quite annoyed when the food runs out.  It keeps looking in the window and at one point even hopped on the window sill the same way the Bluebirds do to let me know it is time for a refill.  This bird is not at all shy.  He came back in the afternoon and was here bright and early this morning.Here a couple of videos I took of BIG BIRD.   male Pileated at kitchen window   male Pileated on tray eating suet



Blandy Experimental Farm

They are offering several Summer Nature Camps for young students. More info at

Friday, June 15 8:00pm  Blandy Firefly Festival Everyone loves fireflies, but how do they make their light--and why? We'll begin with firefly-centered observations, activities, crafts, and games. Following a short talk for all ages, we will catch and release fireflies as we watch one of nature's most amazing spectacles. FOSA members/UVa alumni $10, non-members $12
Member/UVa families $20, non-member families $25 Reservations Recommended more details» 
  (Rain Date: Saturday, June 16, 8-9:30 p.m.)
Wednesday, June 20 1:00pm  Invasive Plant Identification & Management Learn to identify and manage invasive plants during the summer season. Samples of invasives will be on display; bring securely bagged plants for identification. We will end with a short walk to see invasives growing at Blandy. FOSA members $20, nonmembers $25 Reservations Required--Space is Limited
more details»  
Thursday, June 28 1:00pm  Blandy Book Club The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative, by Florence Williams



Potomac Valley Audubon Society

Saturday, June 09, 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM Natural History Workshop: Art to Earth; An Ecopsychology Workshop at Cool Spring Preserve, 1469 Lloyd Road, Charles Town. More info at

Wednesday, June 13, 7:00 AM - 10:00 AM at Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship in Loudoun County  Summer Bird Walk Registration is strongly encouraged. For more information contact For more information contact trip leader Deb Hale at or 304-535-1528.  

June 13
starting at 10 am at Andy Guest Shen. River State Park there will be a kayaking trip on the Shenandoah River with the Riverkeepers which is designed specifically for bird lovers!  There is a 30 person limit. For more information and registration:  or call Nancy at 304-268-8050  Registration deadline is Tuesday June 10th! This is a fun, gentle 5 mile float geared for all levels of paddlers and birders. Beginners are welcome! We will get to glide past a large Great Blue Heron rookery. Plenty of bird habitat along the river bank means plenty of opportunities to see local water birds. Easy riffles and deeper pools that are perfect for anyone wanting to wet a line in pursuit of smallmouth bass characterize this stretch. Come be a part of Potomac Riverkeeper Network’s RiverPalooza 2018 as we celebrate the Shenandoah and see why your Riverkeeper works so hard to protect its clean waters.
Thursday, June 21, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM at Cool Spring Preserve, 1146 Lloyd Rd, Charles Town, WV

Natural History Workshop: Mandala Watercolor Workshop. A mandala is an ancient, universal art form. It is circular in format; Mandala means circular in Sanskrit.  Nature will be the inspiration for the creation of these mandalas. Mandala shapes in nature include flowers, the sun and moon, various fruits, shells, spiderwebs etc.  These mandalas can be abstract, symbolic, nonobjective, include realism or be a combination.  Drawing ability is not required.  The emphasis will be creativity, self expression and the natural world.  Only 15 spaces left.



.                                           Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy

Nature Walk along the John DeMary Trail — Sunday, June 24, Time TBD. Join Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy to discover the many animals and plants along the John DeMary Trail in Purcellville. This will be a relatively easy walk during which we will examine the trees, plants, animal sign and insects we find along the trails. We will enjoy a beautiful time to be out of doors in this beautiful setting. Children age 8+, with accompanying adult, are welcome. Registration required: Sign Up Online. 

Dragonflies and Damselflies ― Sunday, June 24, Location and Time TBD.  Loudoun County is home to over 70 species of dragonflies and damselflies. Join Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s Andy Rabin on a 2- to 3-hour walk in search of these fascinating insects and see them up close. This popular trip is always both fun and informative. Bring binoculars and your own insect net if you have one (some nets will be provided). Adults and interested children are welcome; limit 15 participants. Registration required: Sign Up Online.  

Full Moon Nature Walk — Saturday, June 30, 8:30 p.m., Blue Ridge Center for Environmental StewardshipHave you ever wanted to discover nature under the magical glow of the full moon? This is your chance to enjoy the peace and serenity of the environment around the Blue Ridge Center and experience what the animals that live in the area see at night. Join Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy for a full moon hike and see firsthand how animals and insects thrive at night. This will be a relatively easy walk during which we will explore any interesting sights and sounds we find along the trail. We will enjoy a beautiful time to be out of doors in this magnificent setting. Directions can be found at Registration required: Sign Up Online.  

Reading the Land — Saturday, July 7, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., Morven Park. Have you ever wondered what Loudoun County looked like a hundred years ago? Dr. Emily Southgate, a historical ecologist, will describe how old maps and other records, aerial photographs and plants can be used to reimagine the land cover of the county in colonial times and trace changes to the present day. She will interpret the changes in terms of the interactions of plant succession, human impacts and climate change, with illustrations from specific landscapes familiar to most in the county. Registration required: Sign Up Online.



Sunday, June 10th  3:00 PM – 5:00 PM Raptors and Annual Membership Meeting for Audubon Society of Northern Virginia. John Shafer will share some of his photos of raptors, including photos in different stages of development, the better to help you identify, age, and sex these fascinating, uniquely adapted birds.  He’ll also share personal stories, research, and current theories on habitat and behavior to enhance your appreciation for these birds in the wild. Location: National Wildlife Federation, Wildlife Center Drive 11100, Reston.

15-17 June 2018 - VSO Field Trip South Boston.Your eyes and ears welcome as they search for signs of breeding birds in Halifax and Mecklenburg Counties. TRIP REGISTRATION: or 804-824-4958.  More info at: 

Saturday, June 16th,  7:00 AM – 10:00 AM Breeding Bird Song Workshop at Environmental Studies on the Piedmont, Blantyre Road 6712, Warrenton. Learn tips for identifying our breeding bird species by learning their songs and calls. This event is free.

Monday, June 25 from 7 to 9 pm Butterfly Identification Workshop at National Wildlife Federation 11100 Wildlife Center Drive Reston. Dr. Leslie Ries will be teaching a butterfly workshop focusing on identifying butterflies in Northern Virginia. The classroom portion of the workshop is FREE. The field trip portion will be in conjunction with the count on June 30.



Northern Virginia Birding Club

Sat Jun 2, 10am Huntley Meadows Butterflies and Dragonflies (Larry Meade, Stacia Novy)
Wed Jun 6, 8:30am Long Branch Nature Center (Tom Nardone, Elizabeth Fenton)
Sat Jun 9, 10am Bluebird Trail at Clark’s Crossing Park (Larry Meade)
Sat Jun 16, 9am Limberlost Trail, Shenandoah NP X-Trip (Elton Morel, Dave Boltz)
(email leader for details)
Thur Jun 21, 7am Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas Block Busting Field Trip, (Marc Ribaudo) (location TBD, contact leader for details)
Sat Jun 23, 7am Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas Block Busting Field Trip, (Kurt Gaskill) (location TBD, contact leader for details)
Wed Jun 27, 7am Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas Block Busting Field Trip, (Larry Meade) (location TBD, contact leader for details)
Sat Jun 30, 7am Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas Block Busting Field Trip, (Kurt Gaskill) (location TBD, contact leader for details)



North American Bushcraft School
22JunFri Essential Oils - Beauty, Cleaning, Garden 9:00am
23JunSat Materia Medica - Mullein, Nettle, Yarrow 9:00am
24JunSun Herbal Lab: Dried Plants 9:00am


Pest Watch Spotted Lanternfly A new pest, the Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) was found in Frederick County, VA, in January this year. Native to southeast Asia, it was first noticed in Pennsylvania in 2014 and later in Delaware and New York State. It is frequently associated with sites containing Tree-of-Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)but is a significant pest of grapes, peaches, hops and other crops. The one-inch, mature insect is colorful and easily identifiable but watch also for its young which in early nymph stage are brown. More information may be found online and, if you find the pest on your property, report it to Virginia Cooperative Extension at
Loggerhead Shrike Recovery Program

Wildlife Mapping is an effort by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the Virginia Master Naturalist to catalog the wildlife found in Virginia. This is an open project and can be used to report wildlife observations in Virginia. The purpose of this project is to better understand the distribution of wildlife in Virginia with a special emphasis on species of greatest conservation need. For more information on SGCN and Virginia’s Wildlife Action Plan visit:
Two Species of Ravens Nevermore?

Bird Friendly Coffee
Interested in helping with a Butterfly and Dragonfly survey



Thanks to Kathy of Potomac Valley Audubon for these links: