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Protecting a newt from a digger

Hi everyone,

We're getting our garden dug over with a mini-digger next week. I'm currently sifting through a pile f bits of wood and compost that we're clearing out the way for the gardener. I've come across a smooth newt. I'm worried that the digger next week could end up killing it.

Is there any sensible way I can keep it safe for a few days without completely stressing it out? Or is it considered better to leave it to chance it? I'd feel terrible if it ended up getting killed in the process of the digging, but I appreciate I shouldn't really be moving it around. Just thought I'd check in case anyone had been in a similar situation before.

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  • LucidLucid Posts: 385

    Thanks for the reply philippa smith2. Hopefully we will be able to secure it until afterwards - assuming we can find it again.

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  • LucidLucid Posts: 385

    We've managed to secure a couple of newts in to a container with plenty of soil, bricks and vegetation to keep them feeling safe. We've put small slugs and worms in there but should we add any other type of food, or should they be ok for a couple of days?

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  • LucidLucid Posts: 385

    Yes, we were really pleased we found them. Our first job once the garden is dug over will be to make a little area to release them to and keep out of the way of other things happening. We'll then be making a pond and rockery, with a hibernaculum within so hopefully they may be the first residents over the next few months.

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  • LucidLucid Posts: 385

    I looked across to the pond earlier today as I was walking across the garden and out of the corner of my eye saw a thin creature quickly swim to the bottom of the pond. I am guessing it is one of the newts who survived the winter and is hopefully settling in to the pond. It was far too quick to try to take a photo, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't a frog.

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  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,869

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  • SparklesJDSparklesJD Posts: 344

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  • LucidLucid Posts: 385

    Hi everyone,

    I've witnessed a flash of a newt on several occasions now. It seems to like hanging out near the surface amongst the oxygenating plant but as soon as it sees you approaching it dives to the bottom. However I was looking at the pond today and spotted on one of the shelves a newt just sitting there. So after running in to grab the camera I returned to find it was still there. I found it very hard to get a clear photo so took a few and then noticed there was a second newt next to it.

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    I need to figure out how to take better photos in to the water, but hopefully you can make our the newt and then the outline of its friend a little above and to the right. If anyone has any tips for getting good photos for this kind of thing I'd be glad to hear them - I may need to explore different camera settings I guess.

    I'm so pleased there's at least a couple in there now so am hopeful we'll get some newtspawn at some point - if the water mint starts to take off soon.

    Lucid image

  • Dave HumbyDave Humby HampshirePosts: 1,142

    I think you'll need some kind of polarizing filter for your camera Lucid to get clearer underwater shots.

  • Hi Lucid,

    Polarising filters remove light which is probably not a good idea for under water photography because there isn't much of it to begin with!  This could work in the situation where by you have a lot of reflection on the surface of the water that prevents you seeing into the water but I don't think that's happening here.

    If you aren't/can't adjust the metering mode on your camera then get as close as you can and avoid the bright spots (i.e. the rock) as this will make your camera think it needs to expose the shot less to get it right).  Try to frame only the newts in the image, get down on your hands and knees and you should find it makes some difference.

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