How To Attract Birds, Frogs, Newts & Other Aquatic Life To Your Garden Fish
A pond needs to be more than a sterile fish-holding hole in the
ground to get maximum enjoyment and pleasure from the investment
of time and money. Make your pond a haven for all sorts of wildlife,
and creatures great and small.
You can encourage a wide variety of pond life into your water
garden by making the water accessible both in and out. The best way to do this
is by creating some kind of natural bridging system that looks to be part of the
pond rather than the classical unmistakable wooden garden bridge made for people
to stroll across.
You must have seen some form of life at some stage lying
dead on the pond surface because the poor creature managed to get in but could
not get out of the pond and in trying to do so used up all its energy only to
eventually die from drowning or exhaustion.
The wildlife attracted by ponds
and waterfalls or streams running into ponds include ...
Of this variety of insect life some (like the pond skater) swim
on the surface while others (like the water boatman, which is
quite an aggressive creature and predator) rise between depths
and surface to breathe occasionally and some are the bottom dwelling
type (generally the nymphal or larval forms of winged insects
such as caddis, midge, damsel flies and dragon flies).
The latter 2 types require some form of plant or other
structure to help them escape the pond unlike most aquatic insect types which
rise to the surface just before hatching, discard their nymphal shuck and after
drying out a while fly away. We inevitably think of mayflies and Irish Loughs
under these circumstances.
that certain animals prefer shallow areas, others stony areas and still others
wooded sections. Many insects prefer riffling running waters over a clean bed of
Animals need access to and exit from water at all times - such as the frog or toad.
Birds need shallow water in which to bathe and drink without fear of drowning
and for bathing they prefer shallow running water
With these thoughts in mind think of creating a natural bridge or access point
... use your imagination based upon these few tips.
Create a timber or log bridge over a section of your pond using a tree stump
or branch. The branch could actually dip into the water and rest on the
bottom of the pond giving any climbing animal perfect access. Birds will perch here as will
and damsel flies. Beware however the birds like herons which
prey on fish. Avoid making it too easy.
A very shallow inclined section of beach will allow animals to literally climb into
and out of the water. Use stones, or pebbles to create such a stony beach effect.
Plants growing around the pond margins and
continuing into the garden proper will assist entry and exit.
Another way to bridge an outlet for wildlife is to place stones
between planting baskets or planting pockets at the edge of the pond. In this way the
rather steep sides of
the planting baskets or pots can be climbed more easily. Flat slate inclined gently is a
very good way of creating such a bridge.
If you have a waterfall and stream section place a boulder in the middle to
create a resting place for birds and also to add character to the flow of water.
Using numerous such boulders or larger pebbles will create very interesting
flow effects that birds will love. Some insects can only breed in running
A range of pond plants including those with wide floating leaves will attract
birds and frogs in particular. Submerged plants allow insects to breed and hide
In most ponds you'll see at some stage or
another bloodworms characterised by their rapidly wriggling red segmented
larvae form. These larvae will eventually turn into midges and similar
insects. Your fish will love them.
This point brings to mind an important point
about most ponds and goldfish or koi feeding... fish can survive in this
kind of pond for very long periods without your feeding them pellets or food
sticks since there'll be enough natural food to sustain them ... not make
them fat maybe but they'll certainly live happily on their natural diet.