Phoenix House – Newcastle Quayside
Late March 2021
“I noticed the new anti-bird gel. Hope they succeed in nesting. Love the Kittiwakes arrival every year. There’s a lot more Kittiwakes there now. That was last week on my way home from work. I was heartbroken when I first saw it but they seem not to be fazed.
Nicola – A volunteer keeping an eye out for our Tyne Kittiwakes and is kindly sharing her photos with us.
The anti-bird gel used on Newcastle Quayside is a harmless gel, that looks like fire to the birds as they land. It replaced an area of anti-bird netting in the area, that was accidently trapping Kittiwakes over the past 3 years. Unlike other buildings, where anti-bird gel has been used and dozens of Kittiwakes then stopped nesting there; the anti-bird gel seems to not deter the Kittiwakes in this instance. It could be the choice of gel used or the arrangement of it (ie not much considering the space and color looks different), makes it less effective.
Of course all of us that love the Tyne Kittiwakes want them to nest anywhere they choose. Human produce a lot of air pollution and industrial contamination along the Tyne, so to be honest it is a small price to pay to let them continue to nest. There are businesses below however and some entrances to the building and it is for this reason, that the owners have used anti-bird deterrents to encourage the birds to nest elsewhere.
It would be nice to see Newcastle City Council build a ‘Kittiwake Tower’ like structure, like Gateshead Town have done. After all they are part of our local heritage and have nested along the Tyne, longer than many of us have been alive.
Kittiwakes upon the Tyne