2 Apr 2014

2 April 14 - Garden Newts

At the end of May last year, I saw a male Great-crested Newt in my garden pond. This was my first record since digging the pond in August 96 as a wildlife pond (with no goldfish of course). He was around on a number of occasions until the start of Sept.
Male Great-crested Newt: The large size identifies it as a Great-crested Newt & the jagged crest identifies it as a male in breeding condition (photo taken May 13)
This year has been even more exciting as I have seen a pair on a couple of occasions in late Feb & late March, as well as singles on a number of occasions. They lay eggs in Feb & March so am hoping that I might see some young newts later this summer in the pond.
Male Great-crested Newt: The male a few days ago
It took near 10 years before the local Smooth Newts established themselves, but they are now very well established. Three years ago I ended up having to move the Smooth Newts to my other smaller front garden pond as my main pond liner had a serious hole which I has to replace, as I couldn't repair it. I moved 31 adult Smooth Newts. Once the main pond was up & running again they quickly moved back in.
Male Smooth Newt: Only half the size of the Great-crested Newt & without any of its bulk. The jagged crest identifies it as a male in breeding condition (photo taken June 10)
Surprisingly, the local Frogs have never bred in the ponds, despite being present in small numbers outside of the breeding season.