On the 1st April 2021
“Have the displaced Kittiwakes in North Shields found new places to nest?”
We have an update on the Kittiwakes down at North Shields. Last time we featured a single bird, which was sitting on a ledge, located on a building opposite the Ferry Mews. There was evidence that other birds had also been present on that ledge and there were further ledges that were suitable for Kittiwakes to nest on the same building.
A visit today, revealed two pairs of Kittiwakes on that ledge; with a further pair on the ledge to the right. The birds that were there had paired up, which is a strong sign that these birds will nest on these ledges. On Newcastle Quayside at this time, that is the position; where Kittiwakes are pairing up and sitting where they are likely to nest or have nested in the past.
Additionally today over 15 Kittiwakes were present in the gutters on the ferry mews building itself on the roof. As featured in one of last weekends updates; Kittiwakes on Newcastle Quayside actually nest in rain gutters on some buildings on Newcastle Quayside and they fledge young Kittiwakes successfully. Some of the birds present on ferry mews had paired up, which again is a sign that it is likely they may nest there.
“Kittiwakes pairing up on the roof”
Of course these rain gutters are more vulnerable to larger gulls that frequent the fish quay and forces the Kittiwakes to spread out in a line; whereas at the original site (which has been netted) they are more clustered together. So by nesting on the rain gutters, it may make them more vulnerable to predators. Larger gulls may also be able to land more easily. We do see Lesser Black backed Gulls and at times Herring Gulls act as predators on Newcastle Quayside. The Fish quay also has the much larger Greater Black backed, where as usually the Greater Black backed further up the tyne tend to stay more Riverside Park-Walker end.
Time will tell us, if all these Kittiwakes will nest, however there are strong signs at the moment, that the Kittiwakes are going to nest elsewhere on the ferry mews building and on the building opposite.
Further updates will appear here over the next couple of weeks.