Wildlife & Animals

Coho Preserve

Coho Preserve, Orcas Island (Accessible to the public)

20Feb

Coho Preserve is a small yet exceptional natural area which was acquired through a grant from the Salmon Recovery Funding Board. Surrounded by towering forest, this magical 24 acre preserve is home to multiple songbirds, raptors, salmon and trout. This rich variety of habitat along Cascade Creek can be relished while hiking the rustic trail loop through the preserve.

Coho Preserve is part of the San Juan County Land Bank public land system. There is a new 3/4 mile trail that climbs alongside Cascade Creek (one of only 3 salmon streams left in the San Juans) in very nice forest (and one or two little meadows). The trail is very short but has enough uphill that it does feel like a leg stretcher, and it’s worth doing. The parking area is on the left just past Catkin Cafe and the Strawberry Barreling Plant Building/Art Gallery in Olga. Keep dogs leashed and out of the stream (keep kids out too–these are vital salmon spawning grounds).

Get a Map!
http://sjclandbank.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Coho_map_4.2017.pdf

Resident Flicker on our birdbath

Resident Flicker on our birdbath

02Oct

Northern Flickers are large, woodpeckers with a gentle expression and handsome black-scalloped plumage. On walks, don’t be surprised if you scare one up from the ground. It’s not where you’d expect to find a woodpecker, but flickers eat mainly ants and beetles, digging for them with their unusual, slightly curved bill. When they fly you’ll see a flash of color in the wings – yellow if you’re in the East, red if you’re in the West – and a bright white flash on the rump.

Although it can climb up the trunks of trees and hammer on wood like other woodpeckers, the Northern Flicker prefers to find food on the ground. Ants are its main food, and the flicker digs in the dirt to find them. It uses its long barbed tongue to lap up the ants.

Northern Flickers generally nest in holes in trees like other woodpeckers. Occasionally, they’ve been found nesting in old, earthen burrows vacated by Belted Kingfishers or Bank Swallows.

white whale off of orcas island

The White Whale – Sighting off of Orcas Island

05Jul

Here’s one of the newest members of the Biggs (transient) community. Its really special and unique. Notice the pigment coloring? It has a dilute gene. A dilution gene is a popular term for any one of a number of genes that act to create a lighter coat color in living creatures.

This little orca is part of the T-46b family. Trey took a couple of photos last week. We’re not sure if it’s a male or female.

Tom Averna
Deer Harbor Charters

Give Something Special to Someone Special

28Nov

If you’ve stayed with us before, you know what a magical experience a trip to Turtleback Farm Inn on Orcas Island can be!

Share that magic with friends and family this year with the gift of a stay.

1, 2 and 3 night vouchers make the best gift – a life experience to look forward to in 2019!

Call 360.376.4914 or email us at info@turtlebackinn.com if ewe really want to make someone’s year!

Photo of one of our many farm critters by jchants.