Kittiwakes upon the Tyne

Showcasing the progress of the Kittiwakes along the River Tyne

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The Tyne Kittiwake Diary

Follow the progress of the Tyne Kittiwakes


The Tyne Kittiwakes Diary showcases a summary of the progress of the Kittiwakes along Tyne. This includes some photos and accounts from local birders and residents.  Everyone is welcome to contribute.  Help us to raise awareness for this unique inland breeding colony on Tyneside.

Any progress/developments is also summarised and presented on the Colonies  page, at the end of every season. Both the diary and colonies pages are
updated/maintained every year.


There will also be content related to other gatherings of Kittiwakes elsewhere along the North East coast.  A variety of initiatives are also carried out to help  raise awareness for the local breeding populations of Kittiwakes along the Tyne.

Help us celebrate the furthest inland breeding colony of Kittiwakes in the world”.

If you would like to contribute to the Tyne Kittiwake diary  please contact us or you can send us a message on Twitter or Facebook  Any help is very much appreciated.  


Delighted to see so many successful Kittiwake nests on the Tyne.
My particular favourite was this creative mum who nested on a lamp which caused it to stay on all day as sensor was covered with nest chicks”.     by NE Wildlife

On the 18th July 2021

Newcastle Quayside

Many years ago, Kittiwakes nested on Queen Street on Newcastle Quayside. The owners of the building installed avi-shock however, displacing the birds.  As 2021 dawned and the Kittiwakes returend for another season along the tyne; a small group of Kittiwakes, gathered again on a building on Queen Street.  They built nests below the avi-shock and laid their eggs.

And… here we have princess Kitty from Queen Street. The posh Tyne Kittiwake Colony.

On the 16th July 2021

Life on the Edge by Helen

“Life on the ledge this afternoon with the Kittiwakes on the Tyne Bridge. Can’t believe how much the chicks have grown! Adorable birds Smiling face with heart-shaped eyes”.



After short walk from St Peter’s Marina, I could easily view Akzo Nobel in Felling, which is on the Gateshead side of the River Tyne. Here lives the third largest colony of Kittiwakes along the Tyne. Over 200 pairs nest on the buildings at Azko Nobel in the present day. A single Common Tern was diving close to the boats nearby at Friars Goose. There must have been some tasty fish as it spent quite a lot of time in the same area, close to where the boats were anchored.

I could hear the chorus of the Kittiwakes throughout the riversides of Walker Riverside Park and the Gateshead side of the river. They were joined by Warblers and Blackbirds singing from nearby trees. So relaxing and quiet.  An another example of an oasis in an urban jungle.  Here the Kittiwakes nest so peacefully and are surrounded by their feathered friends that also live and visit this important riverside habitat.  I still dream that one day we may see some artificial cliffs built nearby.   This would be so amazing and  certainly would help support our red-listed species of birds.

Paul Buskin

Here gravity has not been on their side and this is not a green-listed building where they are welcome to nest by the owners. Despite all these challenges. LIFE wins through and a pair of Kittiwakes have brought into the world a young chick.

On the 5th July 2021

Kittiwake Tower in Gateshead by Andy Rickeard

“Monitoring Kittiwakes today at the nesting tower in Gateshead. 173 chicks across the three faces represents an encouraging uplift on recent years. 21 returning adults ID’d by colour rings for @_BTO “






On the 24th June 2021

Following on from Janet’s recent photos of the Kittiwakes at Ferry Mews,
there has been at least one new arrival!”      Andrew Clayton


An adult Kittiwake with a chick on a building behind
the North Shields Ferry landing in North Tyneside

An adult Kittiwake with a chick – A nest in the guttering on Ferry Mews
– North Shields, North Tyneside.

Kittiwakes on the Baltic – Gateshead Quayside
More sketches from Ashley Bayston © 2021

“Eggs will be hatching here over the coming days”



North Shields – Ferry Landing

On the 12th June 2021

Some interesting behaviour from one pair of Kittiwakes today. An adult bird returned with what looked like some seaweed. They then started calling loudly and displaying to each other.

The Kittiwake then gave the seaweed to the other Kittiwake and they then cuddled up together.

A taste of the sea for its partner”


Update – North Shields – Ferry Mews

On the 12th June 2021

A visit this morning revealed ‘happy Kittiwakes’ continuing to nest peacefully. We were very lucky today to have a quick chat with A RESIDENT that lives in the FLAT BELOW the anti-bird netting. We talked about how other detterents are safer than netting. ie that which was used on the Akenside Traders building on Newcastle Quayside. We also talked about the risks for the Kittiwakes this year and how dangerous this netting can be that had been added in North Shields. We highlighted how the netting has not stopped the birds nesting and in fact they are now more spread out along the guttering also.

Apparently he kindly rescued a Kittiwake in distress this week on the guttering which has some fishing line wrapped around it. An act of kindness. Great work from him.  No sign of any chicks, but they are due any day.

Some eggs may have hatched as it is not easy to see many of the nests well.

Pairs this year nested on the netting and along the buildings guttering. So they are more spread out and the anti-bird netting remains a risk for them. Two pairs watch the ferry go by on the building next door.

Hopefully our next update will be a photo of some chicks. We will be visiting again early next week.


Phoenix House – eggs hatching

And it begins….. several chicks now with us on Phoenix House on Newcastle Quayside”.


Kittiwakes return to Queen Street on Newcastle Quayside

For the 2021 season 5-6 pairs have chosen to nest on a building on Queen Street in the heart of Newcastle Quayside. This is close to a local shop and below areas of avi-shock which were installed in previous years to discourage the Kittiwakes from nesting.  

The Lombard colony is also expanding with birds nesting on both sides this season. 

We wish the Queen street birds lots of luck and we very much hope they will be welcome. 


For the third year, over twenty pairs of Kittiwakes have settled down to nest on the Guildhall Clocktower on Newcastle Quayside. This remains a green-lighted location and it is a wonderful view. 

A single pair is also nesting lower down this year, close to what appears to be some old anti-bird gel. So it would seem at some point the lower reaches of the clocktower did have some anti-bird deterrents added. We really hope none appear on the upper reaches, as 20+ pairs is a lot to displace.  The anti-bird gel does not stop the birds nesting on this occasion, however fewer pairs nested close to it on the Clocktower during 2021. 


On the 6th June 2021

Great to see the returning pair of Kittiwakes on the St Marys Heritage Centre in Gateshead. Third year now & last year they raised a chick. For 2021 a 2nd pair is also trying to nest further to the left. We wish them lots of luck.