Kittiwakes upon the Tyne

Initiatives to help raise awareness for the Kittiwakes along the River Tyne

Home Raising Awareness

Helping to Raise Awareness

“Why are the Tyne Kittiwakes so important?”

A lengendary Tyne Kittiwake
  • The local population of Kittiwakes along the River Tyne is
    The Furthest Inland Breeding Colony of Kittiwakes in the World
  • Kittiwakes are ‘Red-Listed’. Red is the highest conservation priority with species needing urgent action. There is a great need to help safeguard existing birds and help secure and protect their nesting sites.
  • All species of Gull are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
  • At this time of climate change/food shortages, bird populations such as Kittiwakes are dropping enormously elsewhere. If climate change continues and coastal populations continue to fall, then the ‘Tyne Kittiwake’ inland breeding colony will become even more important to help maintain/sustain future populations. Conditions along the Tyne are more favourable than coastal populations, that are more vulnerable to bad weather. The Tyne Kittiwakes do still travel to the coast to feed, and at times as far as the Farne Islands.
  • This is an opportunity to witness a seabird colony up close. Usually you would need to travel to the coast, where they nest on sea cliffs or offshore islands. This opens up options for wildlife organisations/educational providers to encourage an interest in the natural world by showcasing the local colonies of Kittiwakes and the surrounding riverside habitats. This is particularly of high value at this time, when there is a HUGE audience focussed on the ‘Journey of the Tyne Kittiwakes’ and the ‘Progress of the breeding colonies along the River Tyne’.
  • The Tyne Kittiwakes are part of Tyneside’s local history/heritage, as Kittiwakes have been nesting along the River Tyne since the 1940s. For many of us, they have been part of our Spring/Summer months for our whole lives.

Do you love the Tyne Kittiwakes?

Can you help us to raise awareness?

“Quotes and photos are very much welcome!  Please help us all to Raise Awareness for the Kittiwakes that return every year to build their nests along the River Tyne during the spring and summer months”

Visitors and residents can share their own thoughts with everyone regarding Tyneside’s Kittiwakes. A new Diary section follows  the progress of these wonderful friendly birds, that we are all so lucky to have with us during the summer months. New quotes and photos are very much welcome. Modern mobile phones have fabulous cameras, and all content is credited to the author.  There is also a selection of Kittiwake Galleries, which showcase photos from this website.  

Learn more about the Tyne Kittiwakes

A great film about the Tyne Kittiwakes

“Local Wildlife film-maker Cain Scrimgeour produced a documentary about the Tyne Kittiwakes in 2013. This was made possible thanks to some funding from The Northumberland and Tyneside Bird Club

    Click here to watch the Kittiwake Film and view more content from Cain Scrimgeour    

Cain Scrimgeours Kittiwake Film

Durham Wildlife Trust – Kittiwake Cam

Watch the Tyne Kittiwakes Live

Kittiwakes on the Baltic Centre for Contempory Art

More than one-hundred pairs of Kittiwakes nest on the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art on Gateshead Quayside.

Visitors can enjoy a ‘birds eye view’ from a viewing platform, high up on
the former Flour Mill.


Tyne Kittiwake Cam

You can also watch the Kittiwakes from the comfort of your own home via a web cam.  There is a  ‘Kittiwake Cam’  which streams live coverage between March and August, whilst the Kittiwakes are nesting along the River Tyne.

Read More

Mini Expeds – Wild Intrigue

Tyne Kittiwake – Walks and talks

An amazing opportunity to learn more about the
Legendary Tyne Kittiwakes

Inspire ● Educate ● Rewild

Kittiwakes & Doughnuts

In collaboration with the Tyne Kittiwake Partnership, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, and Proven Doughnuts Co; Wild Intrigue offer mini expeditions to visit Tyneside’s Kittiwake Colony along the River Tyne.

“Kittee-wa-aaake, Kittee-wa-aaake”

Kittee-wa-aaake - Kittee-wa-aaake

This also feature an illustrated talk by local ornithologist Dan Turner who has been studying the local Kittiwake breeding population for 25 years and there are some tasty doughnuts from Proven Doughnut Co. Visitors are also able to get up close to the Kittiwakes by spending time on the viewing platform at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.  Wild Intrigue do amazing work with their partners in helping to raise awareness for the Tyne Kittiwakes.

To learn more about the amazing work of Wild Intrigue   please visit their website at

Daniel Turner has monitored the breeding population of Kittiwakes along the River Tyne since 1994. Since then the numbers of Kittiwakes that have chosen to nest at this unique location has increased from a few to over a thousand.
To learn more about Daniel’s amazing work and to view his ‘Tyne Kittiwake Population Data’, please visit the ‘Natural History Society Of Northumbria Website’ (NHSN).

New window stickers for local businesses

Help show your support and empathy for the Tyne Kittiwakes”

A design for some new window stickers for local businesses, to help show their support and empathy for the local Kittiwake population along the River Tyne is being drafted. These will be produced and distributed very soon.  ‘The Furthest Inland breeding colony of Kittiwakes in the World’. The legendary ‘Tyne Kittiwakes’.


Kitty the Toon by John Miles - Artwork by Barry Robson

The Worlds First Inland Colony

Text by John Miles
Artwork by Barry Robson

Amazingly illustrated, ‘Kitty the Toon’, tells the story of Kitty the Kittiwake. Newcastle hosts the furthest inland colony of Kittiwakes. This story follows a pair as they nest in the city, have babies, enjoy a game of football and head back out to sea. A great edition to any wildlife library.’

Return of Kitty the Toon by John Miles - Artwork by Sarah Farooqi


Return of Kitty the Toon

Text by John Miles
Artwork by Sarah Farooqi

Return of Kitty the Toon was published April 2020, with artwork by local artist Sarah Farooqi   To view books by John Miles please visit ‘Chick Books – Reconnecting Children with Nature



Photography and Art Exhibitions

Be Inspired!

Options are being explored for any opportunities for ‘Wildlife Art and ‘Photography Exhibitions’ to help showcase local wildlife and their habitats. These will help to raise awareness for the local breeding colonies of Kittiwake along the River Tyne.  More details will appear on this page, as they become available.

A pair of Kittiwakes from the Farne Islands by Fiona Gomez

Kittiwakes by Fiona Gomez - Farne Islands

If you have any further ideas, of how we can help support and protect our well loved Tyne Kittiwakes, please let us know. Any help is always very much appreciated.

Educational Resources

“An education pack is
currently being written”

A new educational pack is currently being prepared and will be available soon.  This will be free for all and packed with online resources and activities.  For more information please contact

A Kittiwake Carnival

The Flight Dance of the Tyne Kittiwakes

As young Kittiwakes are fledging and trying out their brand new wings, the quaysides of Newcastle and Gateshead are filled with their familiar chorus “Kittee-wa-aaake, Kittee-wa-aaake”.

A Tyne Kittiwake in flight

This is a great opportunity for us all to celebrate the next generation of Kittiwakes. With Black legged Kittiwake populations suffering big losses at this time, any new birds to help sustain future generations are very much welcomed and all our efforts are very much needed to help conserve this friendly sea bird.  Options are being explored regarding a potential annual carnival to celebrate the fledging of new Kittiwakes along the River Tyne.

“More information will appear on this page as it becomes available. Any help would be very much appreciated.  If you would like to help contribute or join in with the celebrations please email “

Tyne Kittiwakes by Rev Atkinson - Gateshead

Kittiwake photos above by Revd David Atkinson


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