• Brian Gort

My wildlife reflection pool blog

How I did my reflection pool builds!

I’ve been meaning to do this blog for a while now. A chap called John (Hi John) emailed me via my facebook page after seeing one of my reflection images asking how I went about making the pool, so here goes! – My reflection pool blog is finally getting written up!

Luckily I’d image documented the builds of both my first pool and my second larger pool; which is where my hide is situated at the back of the garden in my small wildlife area.

The first pool was simply made from a potting tray.

It was having one of my mum’s trays from her greenhouse lay in my garden that gave me the idea. It had been lay out on my patio and started to fill with water! - ‘There’s a project!!!’, I thought!

I bought the tray from a local garden centre. To get the lip of the tray out of shot I set about cutting one side away.

The next task was creating a platform to fix a branch to. Some wedges cut from wood allowed me to adjust the height of wooden props (or branches)

The next stage was to stand the tray on something, for which I used a small pallet. To angle the tray I simply used a small batten of wood, which was loosely lay across the pallet. This allowed me to move the strip of wood forward or backward, thus enabling me to effectively adjust the angle at which the tray sat. This allowed for the correct water level backing toward the branch at the back of the pool

The next task was to set about trying to make things look a little bit more realistic – time to get my hands muddy! :)

Grasses, mud, leaves, moss… fact anything you can get your hands on!!

I located the reflection pool somewhere facing the morning light and a little distance away from the plants in the background, just enough to blur them away from the subject (hopefully a nice garden bird!!!)

To be truthful I had little success with this first pool. I simply didn’t have enough feeders near it to encourage wildlife down to it. However, with time and placing feeders around it I’m sure it would have worked perfectly fine.


NEXT !!!.....On to bigger things!! :)

I wanted to create a larger pool, allowing me to position myself lower down and more at the level of the pool, or at least at chair height in my garden hide. I also wanted a completely blurred out background this time.

Plans were made and bushes trimmed back opposite the tree that I had my small hide under. Then off to B&Q for supplies!!

This time I wanted a pool using the largest base that I could fit in my car.

I bought a 6’ x 4’ foot piece of heavy ¾ thick sterling-board. I had this cut to a 6’ x 3’, and the remaining 1’ x 6’ cut down the middle to 6 inch strips. These were going to be my sides...

I'd decided to use 6 inch sides to deter any bird from landing on the sides of the pool for a drink and keep them hopefully in shot at the far end of the pool (with luck! ;-)).

I used 2”x1” battens to make the ends and also brace the side panels when fixing them to the base.

Next I needed a level base in the garden, under my trees. After scrapping away the ground, to level it I placed a couple of heavy crates down to use as a low-level stand for the pool.

I had some old roofing felt in the garage, which I laid into the frame and battened down to create a base liner for the pool.

With the pool in place in the garden I checked the level and made any minor tweaks to the crates underneath. Once I was happy with the level I screwed legs all around the pool to give it extra stability.

After that I painted the whole frame, and the battens with some black felt adhesive I had left from building my summerhouse. I figured this would give the wood some protection - maybe - hopefully!?

Then I laid over and tucked in a plastic medium-weight pond liner that I got online to completely waterproof the reflection pool.

Next job……fill it, and see what happens!!! :)

After filling the liner I then set about putting in and half submerging a branch at the oposite end of the pool - as seen from my hide.

I also started pilling old branches around the outside edges of the pool to make it look more natural and encouraging to wildlife.

The below image is my pool now - December 2015

I now have 18 mounts of wild growth around the pool, and feeders each side to encourage bird activity near it. I also have a 'perching' branch spanning across the far end of the pool, which is above and out of shot. This allows birds to land prior to coming to down to the water’s edge. I’ve found this puts the birds at ease a little before coming down for food or a drink. It also gives me a brief moment to predict the shot, as the birds tend to be very quick at the waters edge before flying back off to the safety of the trees above.

I also have a small pot base, which is filled with pebbles in the pool. I put this in to try and encourage bird bath activity. I've only just put it in so I'm still waiting to see what results from it! We'll see.....

Hope everyone enjoyed the blog, and found it useful!

(Good luck with a build John ! :) )

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