• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Building a "garden pond" ... (1 Viewer)

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
Ever since I excavated two pools 17 years ago, I have gazed down upon them and admired their visitors - White Storks and Great White Egrets plodding the margins to hunt frogs and small fry, Goldeneyes pretty regularly, a Kingfisher on a couple of occasions, Green Sandpipers and Snipe now and then ...

But always I have had that niggling thought 'how I would like the pools to be bigger'. In reality, measuring in at about 25 metres long and 15 metres long, I couldn't really say they were that small, but finally this spring I decided it was time to act - a floodpool a few hundred metres away attracted a pair of Little Grebes to breed. And that was a dangerous place to breed, they had attempted there one time before and failed when it dired up prematurely. This year they fledged the young with a whisker of time to go before it dried, but still the seed was now firmly planted ...I wanted a pool large enough to potentially attract them to breed.

So here it is, a brief story of the creation of a pool:
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
Mmmm, not quite your typical suburban " garden pond " Jos!
What fish species does it hold and which ones did you introduce?
 

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
Mmmm, not quite your typical suburban " garden pond " Jos!
What fish species does it hold and which ones did you introduce?
There was no pool at all before I excavated ... little fish arrived themselves (on weed or similar with birds or Beavers), not sure of the species, but they are abundant now
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
WOW!!! OMG!!

It will be so interesting to see how it gets on. Thanks Jos.
 

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
The idea here was to excavate an adjacent pool to the big one, as below, then dig out the connecting area and create one big pool.

IMG_20211006_153604553_HDR.jpg
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
All that lovely prime organic soil, gardeners will have wept at the site of that heap. Hardly a weekend project but a serious project!
 
Brilliant, they should be superb for dragonflies. Great stuff. I look forward to reading about all the attracted species, birds, mammals, insects etc.
 

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
Not on this pool, but treat of the autumn quite recently was a fantastic family of Otters in my adjacent flood forest ...I was sat atop my observation tower and there was a splash in the water just beyond - presumed it was a Beaver, but instead a splendid Otter was swimming past. And not just one, but for the next 40 minutes, an adult and two well-grown youngsters swimming around, playing and clambering up on the Beaver lodge. They eventually vanished inside the Beaver lodge.

These would be most welcome on my new pool :)
 
Last edited:

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
Did you get to play withy the big boy's toy Jos?

I borrowed a 450 euro drone the month before to photograph my flood forest (about 100 metres from this new pool) ...got the photograph below, then promptly crashed the drone into the marsh! Had to take my trousers off and launch a rescue wade!

Given my success with a simple drone, it would not be a wise owner of an excavator to allow me unfettered access 😂

org_571af914a63af11c_1631012902000.jpg
 

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
To be honest, I was pretty impressed with the dexterity that the excavator operator could dance that big bucket - I asked to also create an embankment along one side of the pool (for shelter and to create shrubbery for Marsh Warblers etc) and he has done an elegantly sculptured embankment. Had I done it, I think it would have been random piles of soil :)
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
I borrowed a 450 euro drone the month before to photograph my flood forest (about 100 metres from this new pool) ...got the photograph below, then promptly crashed the drone into the marsh! Had to take my trousers off and launch a rescue wade!

Given my success with a simple drone, it would not be a wise owner of an excavator to allow me unfettered access 😂

View attachment 1410608
I guess by taking your trousers off you didn't get your car keys or phone wet?

Struggling to locate where abouts this is Jos, don't recognise that at all.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Jos - a noble intention - but don't overthink (or overwork !) it. Fractal geometry and edge effects are your friends. You said it yourself - "stalking the margins".

Perhaps give some re-thought as to what the grebes specifically need to breed and survive - an island surrounded by permanent water perhaps ? (I'm not a grebe aficionado, but every time I recall seeing them it was swimming around in water).

I have probably told you and everyone else (ad nauseum !) about the ex-horse paddocks I turned into Grassy Box Gum Woodland adjoining an old growth remnant. There after record overnight rainfall (90mm) a Brolga visited for a few hours one morning - in a puddle the size of a loungeroom and only about ~40cm deep. I had constructed it in a bit of a depression, using branches, sticks, bark ribbons, leaf litter, mulch, and grass seeds. It was a bit leaky - just what was ordered.

I also had a pair of white faced herons successfully breed and fledge 4 chicks during a good (La Nina-ish) season - nesting in an old growth box tree that adjoined my constructed mini emphemeral wetland. It also bordered a natural ephemeral wettish land about the size of a house footprint. Max depth of flooded water was about a foot or so. (No grebes of course - they were happily ensconced in the neighbours dam).

The bank you had constructed is a handy edition. I hope that soil is a nice sandy loam. I also hope the digger driver was switched on (or ordered) enough to put all that topsoil (and vegetative growth) back on top ! It's a good idea to also sprinkle a mix of endemic seeds over any disturbed areas at the same time.

Good luck. Look forward to seeing the results 👍


Chosun 🙅‍♀️
 

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
I guess by taking your trousers off you didn't get your car keys or phone wet?

Struggling to locate where abouts this is Jos, don't recognise that at all.
It is the forest we walked though by my cabin - far more open now with the passing of a decade and more of flooding by Beavers. In those days I would term it flooded forest, now it is simply prime wetland complete with breeding Bitterns, Marsh Harriers and, as of this year, Whooper Swans.

IMG_20210509_070102299.jpg
 
Last edited:
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

Users who are viewing this thread

Top