Kittiwakes upon the Tyne

Showcasing the progress of the Kittiwakes along the River Tyne

Home Tyne Kittiwake Diary Small groups of Kittiwakes continue to arrive

Small groups of Kittiwakes continue to arrive

On the 6th March 2021

“Only just under a dozen more Kittiwakes have arrived over the past week”

A few more Kittiwakes have arrived over the past week to join the fifteen birds down on the quaysides of Newcastle and Gateshead. Seven still remain committed to the Baltic; whilst the small group around the Tyne Bridge Newcastle Tower now numbers at least 17 birds. So thats about two dozen Kittiwakes on Newcastle/Gateshead Quayside so far.  Lots more should be arriving over the next couple of weeks. 


A Lesser Black backed Gull
Newcastle   Quayside

They are spending most of their time resting on the bridge itself.  Lower numbers of Black-headed Gulls are now being recorded and a single Lesser-Black backed Gull was present on the Newcastle side of the River.  Herring Gulls as usual were in the area, but none were on the bridge itself.  The much larger Herring Gulls can be easily distinguished from the Tyne Kittiwakes; by their much larger size; combined with their longer pink legs, compared to the much shorter black legs of a Kittiwake.  Herring Gulls also have much larger bills.  Their similar sized cousins; the Lesser Black backed Gulls in comparison have yellow legs, and much darker upper wings, but again are much larger than our smaller Kittiwakes. 


A Herring Gull resting
close to the Swing Bridge 

It is common to find Herring Gulls to the left of the Baltic and to the right of the swing bridge in larger numbers. Their larger cousins; the giant Greater Black backed Gulls can at times be found on the tidial mudbanks that become exposed during low tides.  Here if you are lucky you may also find a Grey Heron, which is mostly present on the Gateshead side of the river. 

Three Kittiwakes resting on the Tyne Bridge – Newcastle Quayside

A single Canada Goose could be seen swimming in the river close to the Baltic with a few Mallards.  A handful of Cormorants were also noted.  A short walk past the bridges; travelling with the river inland, takes you past the Newcastle Business Park and onto the Scotswood Bridge. At this time over a dozen Shelduck can be seen with a single Curlew, half a dozen Redshanks ; a pair of Oystercatchers and small groups of Teal. This is a really nice section of the river, with great access both for pedestrians and cyclists.      Paul Buskin

“A new guide to the wildlife along the tyne is currently in development and other parts of the river will be showcased.  This will appear on later this year. This will include any adjacent wildlife corridors and nearby nature reserves
which happen to be close to the river tyne”. 


One of todays Shelducks feeding to the east of the bridges