Wednesday, 1 April 2009

A Newt at Last

The newts in my pond have been leading me a merry dance. Every time I have spotted one the camera has been indoors and by the time I fetched it the newt had disappeared. Until today. The first time it did its usual trick but the second time it actually stayed still for a short while and gave me a few chances to photograph it.

Common (Smooth) Newt - Lissotriton vulgaris
Common Newt

Common Newt

The original shots are very grey so I used the Auto Adjust Colours facility in IrfanView to enhance them. I have used IrfanView for many years as it is so easy to use for quick cropping and colour adjustment. Another big advantage is that it is free.

This newt is larger than one I saw a few days ago so it looks as though the garden population is thriving. Reading the information on The Garden Safari it would appear that they can live for up to 19 years so this may be one of the older ones. I would estimate it to be getting on for 3.5 in (9cm) long.

It might be nearly my last chance to spot them this year as they spend the Spring in water and are active during the day. The rest of the year they become night active land dwellers.

Spent part of the day levelling sections of the pond surround. It is entirely above ground level and was originally for testing model boats which is why it is only about 10 inches deep. This does not seem to bother the aquatic life which continues to thrive. It is surrounded by potted plants of various types and there are many marginal water plants in the pond itself plus some shallow water pond lilies. Overall size is about 18 x 12 feet.

The Pond - junk in the background as I was heaving things about to get at the sections which needed altering.
My Pond

Another Great Pond Snail:
Great Pond Snail


  1. Thanks for sharing the wildlife from your pond. I'm never likely to see newts in my tiny one and I've never seen a pond snail either so I've thoroughly enjoyed seeing yours.

    John, you've some wonderful wildlife in your blog and I really want to find time to browse it more fully. Enjoy the rest of your week and thanks for all the comments you have been leaving on my blog :-D

  2. That Newt is a beautiful creature, I would love a pond but I can't think how I could site one without it getting full of've got me wishing and thinking now!

  3. Shirl: The Newts came to my first pond which was a small moulded one less than 6 x 3 ft. I didn't know they were there until I emptied it to put everything in the larger one. In the sludge at the bottom of the small pond were five Newts - so - you may have some without knowing. The snails came 'free' with some aquatic plants I bought. Many places which sell pond plants also sell the snails.

    Thank you for your kind comments. I am really enjoying some of the photographic challenges as well as sharing the results with other people.

    ShySongbird: Leaves can be a problem. Some people put a fine net over the pond in Autumn to catch the leaves. Luckily most of the trees near my pond are evergreens.

  4. I've never managed to photograph the newts in my pond. I know they are there (and so does a local heron that has raided the pond in the past) but I've only ever seen them at dusk when the remaining daylight is too poor for photography and flash causes horrible reflections from the water surface.

  5. Greenfingers: I think this is the first time a newt has kept still for long enough to photograph. It could have been dazzled by the Sun and I was careful not to cast a shadow over it. Right place / right time as with so many nature opportunities.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

Related Posts with Thumbnails