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Newts 2020

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chubsta View Drop Down
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    Posted: 27 Apr 2020 at 1:53pm
Saw my first newts of the year in the pond yesterday, about 5 or 6 in an area about 1 foot square so hopefully there are a few more in there, last year was the first time I ever saw 'babies' so the pond finally seems to be thriving, certainly plenty of weed and the number of frog tadpoles is staggering, could be it is in a bit of a golden patch where the weed has grown enough to support loads of life but has not yet completely overtaken everything.
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Suzy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Apr 2020 at 10:05am
What species of newts do you have? Certainly here Palmates reach very high densities in my ponds. I too see young ones scooting about.
Well done with your tadpoles. Yes the conditions must be good. The only pond of mine with them in is the ones the frog laid in (frogs know best) and the clumps I moved to my other two ponds have produced nothing. You might remember a photo I posted of a savaging of frog spawn by a group of newts. Funny really as in both ponds the frogs were at the slipping out of the jelly stage when they all disappeared. I thought thy might do OK - but no. I have some in the pond they laid in but they are under duck weed but seem to be OK.
Suz
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chubsta View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chubsta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Apr 2020 at 1:54pm
Species-wise I am not really sure, I can never get a good look at them as they tend to shoot off when they see me coming, will try to get a positive ID but it seems like the differences between the two main species aren't that great unless you spot them at the right time but I am leaning towards Palmate.

I think I had about 20 clumps of frog-spawn, laid early (or so I thought) but the fine weather and sun on the pond meant that all of it was viable and every part of the water is full of wrigglies, Im sure some will end up as food for the newts, how old would baby newts have to be before they start preying on the frog tadpoles?

Unfortunately I can forsee a time when the weed in the pond totally takes over and leaves very little free space, I hate pulling it out as there always seems to be so much life attached to it, any suggestions of ways to do it to minimise the impact on the tadpoles, snails, shrimps etc. Duckweed is already an issue, I did buy a couple of small grass carp a few years back in an effort to try to control it but I have only sighted one of them once in the last two years so not sure if they are even still alive.


Edited by chubsta - 28 Apr 2020 at 1:54pm
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Suzy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr 2020 at 11:27pm
My sister in Yorkshire has only the Common or Smooth newt in her pond. I have the Palmate and mine look much smaller. The Smooth newt to my eyes has stronger spots in the male and the crest is distinctive. Others here might have more pointers to identification. There are helpful facts on this website.
I haven't removed and hand reared any spawn this year as it is just so much work, but certainly getting the tadpoles to a certain size before returning them to their home pond seems to see them over the danger period of getting eaten!
Duckweed is a nuisance and it is hard to be rid of it once it arrives. I have lost brooklime and water forget me not to its smothering nature.

Suz
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chubsta View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chubsta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2020 at 12:23pm
unfortunately unlike my frogs, who are happy to sit there and be photographed, my newts are very shady characters and only appear as ghost-like shadows in the pond, not helped by the fact the duckweed has gone insane over the last few days, am going to try to rake some out this afternoon, hopefully without losing any tadpoles.
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Suzy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2020 at 4:07pm
Do you ever sit and watch for the newts? I find if you draw up a chair and sit patiently, they soon appear. 
Sometimes you have to wait a while. If you look on mild nights with a torch that is also a good time to see them.
Suz
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chubsta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 2020 at 11:12pm
Lifted up a lily leaf today and there were at least 4 newts sheltering under it, and I can pretty positively identify them as Palmates...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 May 2020 at 12:55pm
Brill!
Suz
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2020 at 10:35am
This turned up in the composted section of a compost bin yesterday.


Also at just before 11pm yesterday I saw a newt on the lawn right next to my smallest pond. 
I counted 6 newts in this small pond active yesterday in the day time and a dozen in the largest pond in the evening. I am always surprised at the density of these palmate newts in my ponds. 
Suz
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