Roehampton Garden Society

Birds, Newts and Frogs

November 2022

We are experiencing our first winter migrants; starlings are arriving in numbers from the continent.  So expect to see little parties hunting for worms and anything edible over the allotments from now on. 


We seems to have had a excellent crop of juvenile blackbirds, recognisable as somewhat dowdy greyish-black, with some darker spots on their breasts. They are everywhere, one has almost taken up permanent residence on top of my compost bin getting, no doubt, woodlice, spiders and the odd worm.


Robins are having squabbles across the allotments, all over territory with the best grub – to ensure survival over this coming winter.  Around my allotment – Jim’s garden with his bird feeders, some with meal worm grubs, it is the highly desirable Park Lane for a robin.  Yesterday, I witnessed a ding-dong battle going on, between two robins, all over this highly desirable territory. 


The newts seem to have vacated Albert’s pond, as the temperature drops they will be looking for a place to hibernate.  If you find a newt or frog under a pot or under a compost bag, if possible, gently replace the object.  If you have to move them – be aware that if you handle them, the temperature of your hand is capable of awaking them, from their deep hibernation torpor.   Best, if you prepare in advance a spot you want to move them to. Then move them quickly to it, making sure its safe from predators (Fox or Cat).  Do keep handling hibernating newts and frogs to the very bare minimum if possible. 

Smooth Newt

With thanks to Bill Young, Site3.

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