To the great excitement of visitors, and the equally outsized dread of the garden staff, there was a Heron scoping out the juicy fish swimming in the large pond at LanSu. With the Lotus dying back and subsequently less spots for the fish to hide, its timing was, of course, impeccable. This prompted a conversation with one of the staffers. Apparently, Herons can be an expensive problem to have. How does one maintain the quiet authenticity of the garden and the pond without losing all the koi to these long-legged marauders?
I can totally see the garden’s allure to Herons, with these high-contrast bottom-feeders blissfully gliding around without a care in the world. What would you do if you were the one responsible for the well-being of expensive fish? I floated the idea of maybe installing some sort of discreet metal or plastic grating under the water surface in areas where the fish like to gather, where they could be safe hiding underneath. It might do the job of frustrating the Herons, but in such shallow waters, it would probably be too visibly obvious when the water plants around these “islands” go dormant. Alternately, how about planting some dense, evergreen aquatic that would form a floating cover? Or would that look too messy? Some of those aquatics can get pretty rampant… I can well understand the staffs’ panic when they see these large-winged creatures swoop in on their dinner prey. In their shoes, what would you do? Laws prohibit doing any harm to the birds, so you can’t go there… Thoughts?