I've been scratching my head for a couple of weeks now as to what, exactly, is going on with one of my ponds. The fish used to come right out when I would come to feed them. Now? Either I have a lot fewer fish in that pond or there is something going on with it.
I couldn't figure it out.
Until today. I came home, put my stuff in my room and then immediately went to the side door where the pond is located - right on the patio slab. It's a horse trough turned into a pond. No-one goes on that side of the house, hence, I was comfortable in putting that pond right on the cement slab.
I opened the door and was as startled as the giant bird that - took off. It was a Heron. I don't think it was IN the pond because the water wasn't muddled, in fact, if the "facts" about Heron are true, they can't really fish unless they can wade into the pond. Which is why I never gave it any consideration. I've heard this information from a dozen different sources, so I gave it some credibility.
I don't actually know if that thing has caught any fish or not. The fish are such good hiders when they want to, you can't really tell there are that many in there.
I have a few options. First, the gate I installed to keep the dogs out can be left open now. They do not fight with the dogs next door because - I don't even know if they still HAVE dogs next door anymore. I haven't heard any barking coming from over there in a long time. Regardless, their dogs do not have access to my side of the house, which was the issue. They would "fence fight" each other. My dogs were destroying my plants because of it.
Since it's a non-issue, I can leave the fence open and Sophie LOVES to go over there. I have serious doubts that Heron are going to want to be in that close proximity to dogs, especially Sophie, who will, undoubtedly, take off after it if she sees it. \
The second thing I can do is try to find a mannequin head. I have been told by a few people that had Heron problems that mounting one on a pole near your pond will keep them away, they are afraid of humans and don't want to be anywhere near them. I did see one on Craigslist some time ago advertised for just such a purpose, not sure if I can find one now or not. Kinda creepy, I would think, having such a thing out there, but maybe just drape a cloth over it when I am home.
Third is to put a fence around the top of it. Mesh or something. That wouldn't be so great, though, since it's an above ground pond I wouldn't really be able to see anything plus working on the pond would be a big hassle.
The bird may already be a bit deterred by my opening that door, but Herons are very persistent birds, they are hungry and I have their food swimming around in my ponds.
Wow. A lady is selling Mannequin heads for $10 a piece! Just my price!
Long interlude. Time for bed. Hopefully acquiring a mannequin head tomorrow.