Eleven rules for newt-watching

We all need to know this.

Minutiae

1    Wait for a fine day.  The sun’s rays penetrate the goopy water.

2    Don’t eat a meal consisting largely of smoked mackerel before newt-watching.

3   Have patience.  Get your eye in. Look at the small swirls of the water.  Spot a striped nose.  As a newt dives, its paws turn, showing pale palms like tiny gloves.

4   Close focus binoculars can be good, but while gawping at a nose in one part of the pond you may be missing half a dozen amphibians frolicking elsewhere.

5   Remove some of the blanket weed from the pond, along with some dead leaves.  No doubt newts and their prey need cover and plenty of plant food, but I doubt that a solid mat of blanket weed is ideal.  The newts will, of course, immediately hide from the uproar.

6   Continue to have patience.  It was a…

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