1 EAGLETON NOTES: I Googled it.

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Sunday, 13 July 2014

I Googled it.

The gulls are still making frequent overpasses to see if they can get at the meal they so desire.  Lazy creatures that they are: there's a whole bay full of sand eels a hundred metres away.  I decided that Jean (Jayview) had come up with the answer I would pursue.  Unfortunately when I looked at the practicalities of it for the moment it's on the back burner.  So tomorrow I will go and buy some net and make a frame to cover the surface.

When I Googled (should 'Googled' have a capital letter used thus?) I had an absolutely fascinating read.  I read that gulls don't eat fish.  I did, however, also come across a fascinating treatise by  Dr Adrian Lawler entitled Predatory Birds and Small Fish Ponds in which he concluded:
we are left with the following ways to try to protect our pond fish (methods that physically exclude the birds work best; killing or trapping methods are not listed because of protection laws):--stock out fish that are not easily visible in the pond (not brightly colored, or whitish, fish), --cut limbs that birds can dive from that overhang pond,--plant screens or other cover to prevent birds from getting (flying to, or walking to) to pond, --put fencing around pond to prevent larger herons from walking up to pond (also serves as deterrent for children), --make pond steep-sided and deeper than 18" at edges to keep wading birds out of pond, --put overhangs around edge of pond that prevent birds from getting to fishes that like to circle ponds at edges (overhangs should be high enough off water so they will not serve as fishing platform), --put a greenhouse around pond,--install bird netting (keep tight) to discourage diving or wade-fishing or bank fishing birds, --use decoys of competing large herons (to discourage other herons), --use various noisemakers (e.g., gas exploders, fireworks, or bird distress calls) (but not too effective unless noises made at irregular intervals, come from changing directions, etc.),--use fireworks for several evenings to disperse cormorants from their night roosts (can result in dispersed birds not going back to fishing at previous feeding sites),--use visual devices as foil and cloth strips, flags, balloons or objects with or without eyespots, irregular flashing lights, scarecrows, and artificial decoy hawks or owls, --use motion detector devices that spray water, or make noise, or turn on lights when activated,--avoid using logs and rocks, etc. around/in ponds that can be used as fishing perches,--get an aggressive dog trained to chase birds (this can be one of the best bird deterrents except when there are several ponds and the dog gets exhausted chasing the birds).
In the meantime the fish (not subtly camouflage coloured you will notice) keep swimming:



16 comments:

  1. I see my namesake has provided plenty of advice.
    I'd try the Gas Cannon or perhaps paint the fish grey with zig-zags like a battle ship.

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    1. Adrian I've decided on an entirely novel approach based on reversing the molecular structure of the surface of the pond so that it acts like a mirror and the gulls simple see themselves circling overhead. Of ours the electric charge need will doubtless kill the fish but, hey, what's a bit of collateral damage in the greater scheme of science.

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  2. Fireworks?!? And PLEASE, Graham, tell me that you are not one of those people who put cloth or foil strips up in their gardens... it looks as if a rubbish bin has been blown over and the contents strewn about the garden.
    The herons probably leave my parents' goldfish alone now because the papyrus and other plants around the pond have grown so high they can't really land next to it or walk up to it.

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    1. Meike I am not one of those people who put cloth or foil strips up in their gardens. Herons are not really a problem here although I suppose it only takes one to be flying overhead and that could change. In the 20 years I've lived in this house though I've only seen one in the bay very occasionally.

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  3. With all those noises/fireworks/explosions, your garden is not going to be a haven of tranquility, GB, and the fish will probably all die of shock anyway.

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    1. I think the noisy solutions wouldn't work with gulls anyway because they are down and off again within a matter of two seconds.

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  4. You have a challenge. Predator birds can be very persistent. I was surprised at all the options suggested. I think the netting would be the best for keeping gulls out.

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    1. Come tomorrow, Red, and a net it will almost certainly be.

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  5. I see you will not be running out of "projects" for a good while yet!!! I think you should go for a blinking and water-spitting scarecrow (haha).

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    1. That would keep me occupied Monica. It would also confirm the my neighbours that I am completely barking mad.

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  6. My neighbours tried a lot of those methods. I think my four cats finally defeated them. They adopted one of the cats and enjoy an ornamental water feature with no fish!

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  7. Fi the local cats seem to ignore them completely even when they sit at the edge of the pond. The fish can dive fast than a cat can enter the water too (there is a safe haven for them) but not faster than a gull when it appears from nowhere so suddenly.

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  8. I like Monica's idea of a blinking and water-spitting scarecrow. At least you would have a lot of fun in the construction of it, maybe you could get it to whistle as well!

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    1. Pauline I think I'll give it bells and whistles too.

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  9. I could have sworn I commented to this post, but I guess I just read it and forgot to write one.
    I like Meike's suggestion of the papyrus grass in the pond....it's pretty and provides an excellent hiding spot for the fish.
    Whatever you decide to do, I hope it works.

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    1. Virginia the problem for me with anything like high plants is that it's a small pool in a rockery area of alpines and high plants just wouldn't fit in.

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