RAUK - Archived Forum - Early arrival

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Early arrival:

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Waterfrog
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Joined: 13 Feb 2005
No. of posts: 11


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Posted: 23 Dec 2008
Tonight I saw a male GCN in my garden pond... the first time I've seen one before Christmas. Very mild temperatures for the last week with a minimum of 11C may have influenced this.
Get your torches charged!

Julia
Huddy
Member
Joined: 09 Feb 2006
No. of posts: 18


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Posted: 26 Dec 2008
Hi all , I too have got GCN males back in the pond up in Cumbria , no other species of triturus seen yet though.
Brian
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Joined: 02 Feb 2009
No. of posts: 17


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Posted: 03 Feb 2009
We had GCN eggs in a pond at New Romney, Kent, on 26 December 2008. They will have had a tough time with the weather since then.
Brian Banks
Swift Ecology
herpetologic2
Senior Member
Joined: 15 Jun 2004
No. of posts: 1369


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Posted: 03 Feb 2009

How often have surveys been undertaken during December to see if this is a recent occurence or has this been occurring anyway we just haven't been looking.....

 


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Brian
Member
Joined: 02 Feb 2009
No. of posts: 17


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Posted: 03 Feb 2009

I suspect it has been going on for some time in south Kent . In the past 10 years I have heard of eggs at the same site on 1st January, and 11 years ago I used to get GCN's in the garden of our old property in Hawkhurst in late November/early December.

We don't have GCN's in the current garden pond, but smooths regularly start turning up in November - usually males. Ironically, despite the GCN eggs, my impression is that it has been a late season this year.

Newts seem to start and finish breeding very early on Romney Marsh, conspicuously earlier than newts further inland in the county but it is not something I have ever set out to quantify. Certainly at Dungeness,  in 2005 I had my highest count of GCN's for the year on 29 January!


Brian Banks
Swift Ecology
will
Senior Member
Joined: 27 Feb 2007
No. of posts: 330


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Posted: 03 Feb 2009
Back in the 80's in London my garden pond had male GCN in full breeding dress in early Jan; first eggs usually appeared in late Jan.  So I guess this has been going on for a couple of decades at least.  However the main cohort of adults - especially females - did not tend to arrive til a more traditional early to mid March.
kevinb
Senior Member
Joined: 18 Mar 2009
No. of posts: 61


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Posted: 22 Nov 2009
A friend of mine contacted me today to say that Smooth,Palmate and GCN were back in his pond and that the GCN males were half crested already.
kevinb
Senior Member
Joined: 18 Mar 2009
No. of posts: 61


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Posted: 22 Nov 2009
Just received a text from friend  to say the GCN are busy with their courtship displays
Brian
Member
Joined: 02 Feb 2009
No. of posts: 17


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Posted: 22 Nov 2009

Kevinb,

Roughly speaking is the pond on the south coast, the west coast, or more inland?


Brian Banks
Swift Ecology
kevinb
Senior Member
Joined: 18 Mar 2009
No. of posts: 61


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Posted: 23 Nov 2009
In Gloucester
will
Senior Member
Joined: 27 Feb 2007
No. of posts: 330


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Posted: 23 Nov 2009

Blimey - if UK GCN switch over to a Spanish-style timing of their breeding we herpetologists will have no 'down time' to rest our weary bodies !

Where does this leave the 'winter window' for 'safe' GCN pond works..?  maybe the best time is now late summer / early autumn, when the pond may have nearly dried out and before it refills with winter rain.. 


Brian
Member
Joined: 02 Feb 2009
No. of posts: 17


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Posted: 23 Nov 2009
I guess that rather depends on where you live, and the differences can be quite fine. Even in the same county. October sounds like a good month to me in areas with early breeding.
Brian Banks
Swift Ecology
Brian
Member
Joined: 02 Feb 2009
No. of posts: 17


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Posted: 23 Nov 2009
There are also problems with survey times as well. At Dungeness one of my best counts in one pair of ponds (180 newts) was made at the end of January about 4 years ago, and newts appear to be declining in numbers and condition from late April onwards, so the mitigation manual guidance on when to survey does not always hold too well there, unless you have an unusually cold winter like 2008/9.
Brian Banks
Swift Ecology

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