The Pond has been attracting birds. The flat rock at the top is the perfect bathing spot and there are plenty of perches to grab a drink. I don’t mind scrubbing off a bit of bird doo-doo but last week the starlings came. They dropped by at 4:30. A.M.
Starlings aren’t quiet. They quarrel, yell and chatter at the top of their voice and they do it continuously. You know they really aren’t pretty so why were they also cursed with such raucous voices, guaranteed to set your teeth on edge?
I resigned myself to waking earlier, then the first three visitors became six and one morning I looked out and counted ten strutting their stuff across the lawn and jumping from rock to rock around The Pond. They were also driving my bird friends away. The ones with the sweet warbling calls wafting in on the morning breezes.
My yellow finch hadn’t been seen in days, the cardinal was M.I.A., even the robins had deserted the scene. Time to Google: “Keeping starlings away from my pond”.
Helium balloons with scary bird faces is one suggestion. They bob up and down and it’s partly the motion and partly the face that scares the birds away. Would they have those in the party places?
If they were banging into my windows I could get a moving spider that looked like it was jumping at them, ready to have bird for dinner.
I liked the idea of a floating alligator in the pond but wasn’t sure where I’d find one around here. We’re a long way from Florida and would our birds regard Allie as a predator?
Then I saw the motion activated water sprinkler. Not only would it discourage the birds but whatever was coming around in the night to do a little fishing would also hit the road. I’ve never seen this predator but in the morning Chloe will sometimes spend 10 minutes or more sniffing the rocks so something is coming by. So far all 3 fish are present and accounted for, thankfully the pond is deep in the middle and we have lots of hiding spots.
Off to a few hardware stores and finally found one at Canadian Tire. Had to ask though as for some reason they’re not with all the other sprinklers. Nope 2 aisles over just to keep the customer guessing. We brought it home and while I read the instructions Dave went ahead and set it up. You can test it dry by listening for the clicks that signal it is on or off and it fires a 3 second blast and will re-set in 10 seconds.
Now to test it with water. I stood behind it and Dave turned the water on, came back over and waved his hand in front of the sensor. Bam! The water shot out like a cannon and sounded like a machine gun. Rat a tat a tat! And the arc was wide. For a second there we both thought we’d be the first to be christened.
A few adjustments and it was no longer arcing over the garage all the way into the neighbours yard so we turned the water off to finish the yard work. Chloe casually walked by and click, we heard the activation. We hadn’t realized there was enough water in the hose for one last squirt so Chloe was the first victim. Surprising how quick she can move when she has to. Sorry Chloe.
The sprinkler works great! First time the starlings flew down Bam! the water shot out and the birds shot off and out of the yard. It’s been 2 days now and though they’re still testing it, we keep it on, except when we’re out there. The nice thing is, the smaller birds don’t always set it off. I watched a young robin bathing, shaking his wings and dancing around and nothing happened. A minute later the starling swooped in and off it went. Hasta la vista, baby.