Hickory Farms

June 2024 Hickory Farms Newsletter

- Editor, Jennifer Maloney (Farm House Ln)

Update on the Hickory Farms Community Yard Sale

By Pete Scala

HFCA is offering to conduct a community yard sale this year (you’re probably sick of all the reminders by now!), and is offsetting the costs, so that we don’t expect homeowners to have to provide much, if any, fees to participate.

As we all know, our planned yard sale intended for May 18 didn’t come to pass, due to rain. So we’re looking for another date to hold it. To that end, we have sent out a questionnaire (put together by another homeowner, Jessica DuBois) for feedback to help us pick a date. Dates being contemplated are Saturday, June 8; Saturday, June 15; or deferring to the Fall. If you didn’t get the email (it was from Pete Scala, and had a link), please send him your opinion on when to hold the yard sale. His email address is scalapr@verizon.net.

In any event, when a date is picked, we’ll let everyone know via email and the HFCA Listserv.

Thanks for your patience!

Traffic Advisory: Area Graduations at Eaglebank Arena

As a reminder, expect heavy traffic near George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus for area school graduation ceremonies at EagleBank Arena. Traffic will be entering and exiting campus (e.g., via Braddock Road, Route 123, Roberts Road) on:

  • Monday, June 3 through Friday, June 7 for ceremonies at 9:30 am, 2 pm, and 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, June 8 for a ceremony at 7:30 p.m.
  • Monday, June 10 and Tuesday, June 11 for ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. and 2 pm

In-Person Early Voting for Presidentail Primary

In-person early voting is available for the June 18, 2024, Democratic and Republican Primaries until June 15 at the Fairfax County Government Center:
Weekdays: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Saturdays: (June 8 and June 15): 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

For more information, visit https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/elections/early-voting

The Birds of Hickory Farms

By Bob Cosgriff

The end of April saw the arrival of three migratory species: Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Black-and-white Warbler. Despite less-than-optimal weather in May (for birds and birders alike!), we added 11 more species, to bring our yearly total to 60. Included in this total were 11 warbler species. Undoubtedly the highlight was our third-ever record of Ovenbird, a species of warbler. (Previous sightings were 5/11/2002 and 5/10/2020.) As in 2020, this bird stayed for 4 days. Other warblers seen were Black-throated Blue, Northern Parula, Cape May, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Chestnut-sided, and Magnolia. (Myrtle and Pine warblers were seen earlier in the year.) We ended our daily count on 13 May; our average from 1 January was 21 species/day. On 21 May, we added Great-crested Flycatcher (heard).We will record any new species until the end of the year. Typically, we pick up three or four more birds over the summer and fall, so we’re hopeful that we will end up with more than 60 species for the year. This chart displays our yearly count history from 2013 to date:

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 Avg.
50 46 54 51 53 63 67 74 62 65 51 60 58

As you can see, since 2018 our counts have exceeded 60 species each year except 2023, which was marred by cold, rainy weather that disrupted migration routes and timing. It was basically a washout. This year we have rebounded to a more average count.

In terms of warbler species seen, here are the numbers:

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 Avg.
4 2 8 7 5 8 10 16 9 6 1 11 7

This year was our second-highest warbler count and only one of three years in double figures.

On the bluebird trail, we have fledged 13 birds. Currently we have two active nests in the lower commons with a total of eight eggs and one new nest in the upper commons with no eggs as of Memorial Day weekend. We also are pleased to report one Tree Swallow nest with five eggs and one House Wren nest (no eggs so far) in the upper commons.

But wait! There is more good news! On 15 June, neighbor Phil Donnelly saw two Purple Martins on the colony. The next day, I saw three (one male, two females). Richard Dudley subsequently reported seeing as many as five. We confirmed this number on 5/24. The persistent presence of the birds indicates that we should have nesting martins again this year. Additional birds can straggle in as late as June at which point pairing off and nesting begin. Since the GMU martin houses are already filled up, we should get the overflow of birds (mostly from last year’s brood) that arrive too late to claim a spot at Mason. The best time to see the martins is in the early morning (8-9 a.m. or later in the afternoon (4-6 p.m.). Please stay at least 50 feet from the colony.

One last note: while checking on the martins, I heard, then saw, a beautiful male Scarlet Tanager. Two days later, there was a male Baltimore Oriole singing in the tree island; this bird was seen also on Sunday 19 May. An Eastern Kingbird and Great-crested Flycatcher (both flycatcher species) were also in the area near the martin colony.

Until next month, enjoy the start of summer. It’s a beautiful time of the year to be out and about in Hickory Farms checking on the birds and looking at the wildflowers as they come into bloom.

Join Our ListServ

Don’t miss any news! There’s no better way to stay in touch than through our Hickory Farms email listserv. Visit Email Listserv and follow the instructions.

HFCA Board Meeting Notice

HFCA Board Meetings are held via Microsoft Teams. Unless otherwise notified or due to an unforeseen change, HFCA Board Meetings will be held the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 7 pm.

To join a Board meeting, contact any HFCA Board Member or send a request to join to hfca@hickoryfarms.org. You will be provided with the Zoom meeting URL, meeting number and passcode.

Student Yellow Pages

Lily Bucher lrbucher4@gmail.com Babysitter/Mother's Helper, Pet Sitting
Kiera Stark commonareas@hickoryfarms.org Pet Sitting
Greysen Berg 210-428-5535 Yard Work, Leaf Raking
Cedar Batz 571-398-1467 Dog Walking, Dog Sitting

If you offer services such as those listed above, or others such as tutoring, etc., and wish to be included in future listings, please email the Newsletter Editor at newsletter@hickoryfarms.org.

Newsletter Item Deadline and Distribution Notice

Newsletter items are due the 25th of the month, for the next month’s issue. Please send submissions to
newsletter@hickoryfarms.org. Note: There will be no Newsletter for July 2024

Newsletters are distributed via the HFCA listserv and posted on the HFCA website. All are encouraged to
access the digital newsletter via the listserv or the HFCA website.