Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Intruder Alert!

First it was one of the domesticated ducks from the field across the lane. He wandered in and then couldn't get out, eyed the pond with curiosity and not a little fear and waddled away. He was easily dealt with. But just the other day this pair flew in and seem to have taken a shine to our half-finished pond and despite being shooed off repeatedly, always return.

Of course I am terribly torn. They seem to be a devoted couple, they're peaceful and quiet and pretty. But then again, having looked up various websites about the mallard duck (for such they are) it appears that they'll wreck the garden, poo everywhere and maybe introduce infection and algae not to mention scupper any chances we have of keeping goldfish. The fact is that this, as can be seen from the paving slabs that overhang the edge (to deter herons), and the spotlights around the perimeter--not yet connected--is intended to be an ornamental pond, not a wildlife haven--although we have frogs and they're welcome.

As yet, they seem not to have nested or laid eggs although it could be any day now and once that happens the law prevents us from harassing them in any way until the ducklings hatch and are on their way--so it's now or never. Advice on the net says that chasing them off eventually works--after all, it's not as if there isn't plenty of water around here; there's a small village pond and two small rivers and they can fly, for goodness sake, but I really do feel a real meanie. especially when they look at me with those big black eyes.

And now look what they've done. They've made me all anthropomorphic, which I hate. Repeat after me. They are pests and need to go. They are pests and they need to go. They are pests and....

Any suggestions? (The first person to mention a gun will be banned.)
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Jane Smith said...

Sally, if you play them the sound of a bird of prey at odd times of the day, they're unlikely to settle; if you chase them off, and remove all food sources, ditto; if you repeatedly pee around the pond, that might help too (although your neighbours might object). And you do want to deter them if that pond has a butyl liner, as they'll make horrible holes in it. You could also put a net over the top, temporarily: how big is the pond? Because I have a roll of stuff that might just do the job.

Anonymous said...

Or you could ask Jane to stand at the edge and wave her arms about.


Sally Zigmond said...

Excellent suggestion, BFL.