I am always excited when a new bird appears in the garden, and a few weeks ago while working in the garden a Grey Heron flew low over the gardens, we are not talking country houses here, this is suburbia, I remember thinking to myself that Heron has entered my 'air space' I can claim that for my garden bird list.
A few days later, early in the morning, as I glanced out of my bathroom window, there was the Heron sitting on the ridge of my neighbors garage, our eyes met for the briefest of moments, before he silently lifted off and disappeared from sight, again I thought to myself, I am definitely claiming that for the garden list.
A few more days past, and glancing at my pond, I thought that's strange I haven't seen my prized Goldfish swimming around lately, on closer inspection I found two of my fish cowering within the weed of the pond, three other Goldfish had disappeared, and these are not small Goldfish, and I am very attached to these fish as my family will vouch, especially after the ups and downs of Goldfish care we have shared together over the last few years.
Then it dawned on me that Heron has been back a few more times than I have realized.
Okay so maybe not this individual, but in my minds eye, this is how I imagine him, standing on the edge of my very modest pond, with the look of the "Angel of Death", my admiration for this species is fast fading.
What's really annoying me also, apart from the fact of losing my prized goldfish, is that I purchased a very nice decoy heron, not a cheap plastic heron but a realistic ornamental heron which has stood guard over my pond for the last few years. I was under the impression that a Heron would not come down to a pond where another Heron was feeding, How wrong was I.
In a surreal conversation with the fish keeper of the local garden centre, we discussed the loss of my goldfish to the Heron, I mentioned the fact that I had a decoy Heron in position on my pond, and I was surprised that another Heron had come down to the pond.
"Well does it move around then" he remarked, I thought obviously not its ornamental, he was being sympathetic, so I kept my thoughts to myself.
According to the fish keeper herons are very clever birds, not only do they memorize where all the ponds are in a local area, they can detect whether a decoy is real or not, the trick is to keep changing the position of the Heron, or I could invest in there latest laser triggered heron scarer at a cost of £140.00, I thanked him and said I would move the decoy Heron around.
I am now locked in a crazy battle like the reality programme " Bad Neighbors" each night I go out to the pond to change the position, I find myself waking up early in the morning because I think the Heron is about to take my last fish.
Today the Heron blatantly landed on the garage roof at 14.30 hrs in the afternoon, I was alerted by the manic screams of my wife to this fact, "the Heron, the Heron"
Maybe I should accept the inevitable, .... but I can't , this battle will continue.............