On Saturday 16 May this female blackbird caught five smooth newts in our garden pond. She either waits in the centre of the pond, perching on the blanket of duckweed, or stalks along the edge. As soon as she catches one she takes it to a grassy spot or to the raised bed behind the pond and dispatches it then eats it herself. We’ve never seen her taking one away to feed her young. We had already spotted her doing this a few times during the week but now that she’s become so adept I’ve now raked away the duckweed to give the newts a chance of survival.