Garden Pond Under Attack
Garden Pond Under Attack
I know this has been blogged about a thousand times, sorry but I cant let it rest.
My pond started its life 13 years ago with blood and sweat digging it out, sorting out the perimeter rocks and the planting, us pod owners have all been there at some point. It doesn’t stop there does it, cleaning and maintaining filters and pumps spending hours in the early days getting the water quality correct. Can you remember introducing your first fish? I can and still have most of them today, you could say their part of the family or am I going too far. Then without any warning your pride and joy comes under attack yes attack, your tactics have no effect and it becomes war.
You know whom I am talking about yes, the pond expert MR HERON……….
How to protect your pond
How do we protect our pond form a heron attack?
Over the years I have experimented with all methods you can think of and none of them really work long term because of how dam cleaver they are, lets face it they have had millions of years to perfect their tactics. 12 month ago I purchased a wildlife camera with motion detect, the first thing I noticed was Mr. Heron laughing and the camera and not giving a shit as he stud on the pond edge waiting for lunch.
I was under the impression that they waded in or waited for the fish to come to them, oh no they dive into the water giving the fish no chance rendering the electric fence and the fishing line useless.
Decoy birds, cats, dogs, and scarecrows are great for a few days until they quickly work out what you’re up to. Herons are not stupid they know all the tricks don’t waist your money.
I don’t know about you but I built my pond to look natural and to attract wild life for breading and drinking purposes, what I didn’t realize that I was really opening a fish restaurant but with out any paying customers and no heron police for back up.
What’s the answer?
In my opinion there’s only one option and that’s an £8 pond net form Amazon, I said I would never net my pond because they look shite, unfortunately I have to admit Mr heron has beat me, I’m out of options, it’s a sad day, but I suppose I can now sleep a night knowing my remaining fish are safe and I can move on with my life.
Incase anyone is thinking why don’t I blow its brains out, these birds are protected here in the UK and anyhow I’m not into killing wild life, In a sad way I quite enjoyed my battles.
A quick up date. The net still hasn't put the heron off as you can see, my fingers are crossed that he gives up and doesn't start stabbing the fish through the net, if that happens the pond may have to go. I cant see the point in re stocking and its sad for the fish as they just hide all day so you don't see them anyhow. All the other birds that come for water can now longer get to the pond and thats sad also so all in all its not gone well. I will update the blog in a few months and hopefully my pod will still be a pond and not a rockery....
Grey herons are the largest birds most of us ever see in our garden: the wing span is around 6ft.
- Despite their size, they are surprisingly light, weighing on average only half as much as a greylag goose.
- The old English name for a heron was hragra; other names now largely fallen into disuse include harn, hernser and hernshaw. Heron comes from the French, for the French name is héron céndre.
- In medieval times the heron was a favourite quarry of falconers who valued its great flying skills and ability to evade the falcon's stoops.
- Roast herons were also popular at medieval banquets: the young birds, called branchers, were thought to be the best to eat.
- The fat of a heron killed at full moon was once believed to be a cure for rheumatism.
- Herons are sociable birds when nesting, invariably nesting in long-established heronries.
- Most heronries are in trees, with the majority of nests at least 25m above the ground. However, reed-bed heronries are not unusual, and they will also nest on cliffs, bushes, sometimes even on buildings of bridges.
- Heronries can reach a prodigious size: one at Great Snowden's Wood, near Brede in Sussex, contained around 400 nests in 1866.
- The biggest heronry in Britain is currently at Northward Hill in Kent, an RSPB reserve. Numbers here have peaked at over 200 nests, but the current total is around 150.
- It's not unusual for a single tree to hold as many as 10 nests.
- The annual count of heronries is the British Trust for Ornithology's longest running survey. The first took place in 1928.
- It's quite normal for herons, disturbed at their nest, to regurgitate their last half-digested meal, an unpleasant experience for anyone unfortunate enough to be underneath the nest.
- An increasing number of British heronries now also have little egrets nesting alongside the herons.
- Herons are among the earliest nesters. It's not unusual for some birds to lay their first eggs in early February, though the normal start is early March, peaking at the end of the month.
- The number of herons breeding in Britain and on the Continent has been growing steadily for many years.
- They suffer badly in cold winters when ponds and streams are frozen for prolonged periods. The recent run of mild weathers has helped boost the population.
- Grey herons are widely distributed, occurring throughout much of Asia as far east as Japan. They also breed in South Africa, while migrants are regular throughout much of Africa.
- Only 3.3% of British-ringed herons have been recovered overseas, with the most distant recoveries in Morocco and the Gambia.
- Persuading marauding herons not to raid goldfish ponds is very difficult. The only 100% effective protection is netting the pond.
- Plastic decoy herons are more likely to lure birds to a pond than frighten them away from it.