The National Park Service, George Washington Memorial Parkway, is offering training sessions on controlling invasive plants. There will be one virtual classroom training and one in-person training for field work at two different times.
In April 2022, the Friends of Dyke Marsh reached out to the larger community when we participated in two community events and offered materials and information about FODM and Dyke Marsh.
“Virginia’s tidal rivers are just loaded with bald eagles,” Jeff Cooper told 210 people attending the March 2 FODM meeting and the Chesapeake Bay is the epicenter of eagle conservation. The area from Dyke Marsh south to where route 301 crosses the Rappahannock River is a bald eagle concentration area.
On February 26, 2022, 50 very curious youngsters from Fairfax County’s Belvedere Elementary School, grades kindergarten through fifth grade, and many of their parents visited Dyke Marsh.
The Potomac River and associated habitats are prime areas for many wintering waterbird species, Greg Butcher told FODMers and friends at their October 20, 2021, meeting on Zoom.
Keen observer and former Friends of Dyke Marsh president Ed Eder documented three new species between June and October 2021, one new to the preserve and two also new to the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
On August 28, 2021, 18 plant lovers studied the diversity of Dyke Marsh’s plant life, on a Haul Road trail walk led by Alan Ford and Margaret Chatham of the Virginia Native Plant Society’s Potowmack Chapter.
Why insects need trees was the theme of the walk for 16 nature enthusiasts in Dyke Marsh led by arborist Jessica Strother on September 4, 2021. She titled the walk, “Trees and their Insect Friends.”
On August 28, Todd Kiraly, Steve Bielamowicz and Sherman Suter saw and reported a buff-breasted sandpiper (Calidris subruficollis) in the Hunting Creek mudflats, just north of Dyke Marsh. This was a first sighting and a record for the George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP). This is bird number 294 for GWMP.
Virginia Wildlife magazine chose the photographs of two talented members of the Friends of Dyke Marsh for the magazine’s annual Photography Showcase, published in the July-August 2021 issue: Barbara Saffir and Jane Gamble. Congratulations!
Since 2016, devoted volunteers have surveyed Dyke Marsh for butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies once a month, often observing many other insects and wildlife too. Here are a few examples of 2021 sightings. Thank you, Rusty Moran, for your observations and photographs.
The first photo is the gray hairstreak butterfly (Strymon melinus). As its name suggests, this species of butterfly belongs to a group of butterflies with hairlike markings on the underside of their wings. Fairly common, this species lives in a variety of habitats. Its caterpillars feed on a variety of plants.
The Potomac River is much cleaner today than it was in 1964 when then U.S. President Lyndon Johnson called it “a national disgrace,” but efforts are still needed to get it to an A grade, Hedrick Belin, President of the Potomac Conservancy, told attendees of a May 26, 2021, Zoom meeting of the Friends of Dyke Marsh. “It is still too polluted for swimming and fishing,” he cautioned.