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I entered my kitchen very early this morning to put the kettle on just in time to see a Heron make off with the last of my two goldfish from my little pond. I feel stupidly upset about this and wondered if there was anything I could do to deter these pesky birds if I replaced the fish. I have a resident hedgehog and frogs so I did not really want to cover the entire pond with netting. Any ideas anyone?
I too have the heron problem.....who doesnt?
Netting is the solution though....can you use the bigger mesh size? I used wires put 30 to 40 cm apart and this was very effective. Herons are wading birds so wires prevent this.
Herons are,majestic birds aren't they? Huge and their wingspan is impressive. They will take every fish they can
Thanks Verdun, I may consider this or I may just have it as a wildlife pond. I have a metal gate that I use when small children visit so this is a possibility. I do want my resident hedgehog to have access and the frogs too as they help with the slug problem. Perhaps I could lift the netting up a bit off the ground around the pond?
A plastic heron by the pool is said to work(they like fish on their own) .I have cats who like to fish by my pool so I placed sticks with sea shells on top around the pond making it difficult to fish .
Daydaisy, I'd do as Verdun suggests and use netting with quite large holes in it, that way the frogs can get in and out, and the hedgehog won't fall in. I fear if you lift up the mesh in just one area, your hedgehog and frogs won't find their way back to the 'open' bit, and become entangled in a net with a fine mesh. Besides, I think lifting the net won't be as pleasing to the eye than if it's hidden just below the surface. You could also try the plastic heron too, although I'm not sure where you'd get one from!
A neighbour has a plastic heron next to his pool. It's the joke here that the heron lands on his,plastic one.....to cock a snoot ....and then takes the fish.
I think I'll go with the net idea. Thanks all for your ideas.
I visited a garden that had wires way above head height, tied between trees. The owners swore it kept the herons off but maybe there weren't any herons
In my parents' old hotel, the gardener had wires too, but they were about 12 - 18 inches above the pond in a very wide grid arrangement on short poles placed around the edge of the pond. They didn't look too unsightly because there were plants growing through the mesh and around the poles, and it did seem to do the trick.
The plastic herons are quite easy to get, but they don't work!
I would recommend wires on short poles.I put down netting and came down the next morning to feed the fish and found a drowned bird with its feet stuck in the net. Never again.
Sorry about the loss of your fish. I put canes around the pond and rested the black netting over them, it worked very well keeping the herons out, allowing hedgehogs and birds to escape, we're near the Broads, lots of herons...had some beautiful koi and orfe which sadly the visiting otter enjoyed last year...nets do not keep otters out. I made a small pond for amphibians and the larger one for fish...and otters.
Thanks for all your ideas. I've gone with the netting and little frogs have proved that they can cope having seen one sitting on top of the net! I've replaced the goldfish but haven't seen them since putting them in yesterday. I hope that they are shy and adjusting to their new environment and that the heron hasn't been back and laughed at my net.
Herons are very intelligent, my neighbour found that when she had a model heron (which looked quite realistic), she had to move it around or the real heron soon realised it was not real! Eventually it got the idea that this heron was there just too much of the time, and got all the fish anyway! They now have a rather nice bog garden and no fish - but we all have plenty of fros from my other neighbours garden pond - in which they do not try to keep fish.