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).
Sunday, 13 July 2014
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:
In the meantime the fish (not subtly camouflage coloured you will notice) keep swimming: