|Common Newt - Dulwich|
I took this picture today, next to a garden pond in East Dulwich. I saw at least half a dozen newts in this pond which was great as they have been in decline for sometime. It just shows how valuable gardens and garden ponds are as mini ecosystems. I’m very fond of newts, a fondness somewhat developed by Gussie Fink-Nottle a ‘Newt Fancying’ character in Jeeves & Wooster novels. So it was rather nice to photograph this specimen in Dulwich close to where Woodhouse went to school; Dulwich College. Unlike Lizards, Newts do not bask in the sun, nor do they have scales but they do both hibernate. Newts should start to appear at the end of February depending on temperature at this point they will travel to water to breed. During breeding season the male displays to the female with tale vibrations then leaves a pod containing sperm in the water for the female to collect. The female gives birth to tadpoles which are carnivorous throughout their lives. Newts have been recorded living up to 20 years but their average life span is far shorter than this.