Newts, a faithful garden friend

A newt
A newt

Most folk who have garden ponds will have frogs spawning in them each spring, writes George Hogg (Hogg Estate Services).

Much fewer will be lucky enough to have breeding newts.

However, like frogs, newts are very faithful to their chosen ponds and will turn up every spring to breed in their favourite spots.

Of the three species we have in Scotland, the Smooth Newt and Palmate Newt are the two most likely to find and adopt garden ponds.

Now that wildlife gardening is widely practiced, there are one or two back garden ponds in most streets.

In the case of newts, it is noticeable that the growing popularity of ponds has allowed them to spread from year to year.

So, if a neighbour has breeding newts in their pond, it is only a matter of time before they find yours.

Indeed, if you are not in the habit of checking your pond with a torch at night, you may already have breeding newts without realising it.

This is because newts do not advertise their presence like pulsating frogs and proclaiming toads.

Nor do breeding newts gather in writhing masses in the shallows like frogs and toads.

Also they lay their eggs singly, hidden in folded leaves and fairly invisible compared to the great cumulus clouds of frog spawn or the long tangled strings of toad spawn.

They are in fact experts at remaining undiscovered by both predators and pond owners.

So, get your torch ready and investigate your pond!