Earlier in the week, while transplanting a small tree, my husband found a little newt. In winter, newts will find frost-free corners of the garden to rest up in, only coming out in milder weather to forage for food. They will often use compost heaps to hide in so it’s a great reason to have a compost heap.
Now with spring on its way, they will be thinking of heading back to the pond to breed. We often see them swimming in the pond during the spring and summer (see previous post https://murtaghsmeadow.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/newts/). They look quite graceful in the water. On land they seem almost prehistoric.
In Ireland, we only have one species of newt (Smooth – Lissotriton vulgaris), but in the UK there are three – smooth, palmate and great crested. Newts will eat slugs and snails as well as earthworms. In water, they will eat tadpoles and water insects.
I love seeing these little amphibians in the garden. We’re still waiting for the frogs to return to the pond to spawn. It’s usually about now we start to see them, so it shouldn’t be long. If you find newts in your garden you can record your sightings at www.biology.ie