I have been wanting a permanent reflection pool for a long time, some of you may remember my Temporary Reflection Pool from 2015. I thought of a few locations, but in the end I decided to place it near the Oasis Hide. It has been constructed to have early morning sunrise light which is when birds often look for water, of course, this means there is a possibility of some nice back-lit photos towards sunset time too.
It had to be raised off the ground to bring it almost to the height of the lens hole in the hide to get eye level with any birds and I was going to build a wooden platform when I had a brain wave. Last year one of our Water Heater Solar Panels sprung a leak which meant they had to be replaced. Luckily, we still had the old panels so I decided to strip one down to use the chassis as body to hold the water.
The pool would need to sit on some legs, so I knocked 6 large wooden fence posts into the ground. I had used my 500mm lens from inside the hide to work out the distance required which is around 5m.
Once all 6 were in position they were cut to size to give a level surface and 2 small single pallets were attached to provide a firm and level base for the pool to sit on.
The old Solar Panel Chassis was then attached to the base and any rough parts of the chassis have been duct-taped to stop any tears to the plastic liner.
Now it was a decision about the liner, I could use a pond liner, but these are expensive and thought it was overkill, so I bought some black plastic builders cover material which was large enough to fold over 4 times. Once installed loosely I filled with water and then cut to size and secured with both staples and duct-tape.
The pool is now almost ready to use with some rocks at the far end for birds to visit.
Of course, I want the birds to visit the far end of the pool and not the sides, so I used the off-cuts from the posts against the sides to make it difficult to reach the water, hopefully, forcing the birds to visit the back rather than the sides.
Just to give the birds somewhere to land on before dropping down to the water’s edge I have also installed some old Oak Tree branches, this also gives a good opportunity to photograph them.
That’s it! All finished and ready to go, I just need some thirsty and/or dusty birds to visit.
This has all been set up to be used with my 500mm prime lens, if some larger birds visit then I may struggle so I will be making a 2nd mount in the hide so that I can have the choice of 2 camera/lens combinations with the 2nd camera having a zoom lens. The far end of the pool can easily be changed for a different look so I will be experimenting with different designs. It may take a few days before any birds start to use it but I look forward to capturing some great shots.
Here are a few test shots I did, these were taken in the midday sun so a different time of day to when I’ll be using it, so are not great.