On the 29th February 2020
As yet another storm raced across the region, less than a handful of Kittiwakes were seen flying up the River Tyne, past the Fish Quay in North Shields. Less than an hour later, three Kittiwakes were busy enjoying the facilities of the Quaysides of Newcastle and Gateshead. They spent some of the time, busy washing themselves.
At times, the Kittiwakes could also been seen checking out some nests under the Tyne Bridge, however they were forcibly chased off by some nearby Carrion Crows. As hundreds more start to arrive however, the crows are likely to move on and continue their own efforts helping to keep the quaysides of Newcastle and Gateshead clean. When compared to last year, the Kittiwakes are returning a little later this year, and initially in smaller numbers. Over a dozen birds were present this time last year, however more are likely to return over the coming weeks.
Elsewhere along the Quaysides, Herring, Black-headed Gulls and a couple of Greater Black backed Gulls were present. A single Redshank was busy feeding on the Gateshead side. Watch out for Grey Herons and Curlews which are regularly seen nearby. There was little sign of any Lesser-Black backed Gulls today, but they have been noted in the area. A new web based guide to the ‘Wildlife along the Tyne’ is currently in development and will be available early next year from ‘www.tynewildife.org‘. This will include over two dozen locations, where you can enjoy this rich, riverside habitat.
by Paul Buskin