Kittiwakes upon the Tyne

The Furthest Inland Breeding Colony of Kittiwakes in the World

Home Tyne Kittiwake Colonies Akzo Nobel – International Paints

Akzo Nobel – Tyne Kittiwakes


Over TWO-hundred and fifty pairs of Kittiwakes nest
on Akzo Nobel International Paints. in Felling”.

During the spring and summer months, hundreds of Kittiwakes return to nest on Akzo Nobel International Paints in Felling.  This is the third largest colony of Kittiwakes along the river Tyne which can be easily viewed from Walker Riverside Park in Newcastle. Kittiwakes are coastal Gulls, and don’t usually nest inland, so this rare event is treasured and celebrated.  As a red-listed species, every effort is needed to help support their breeding, especially at this time where Kittiwake populations are showing a downward trend across the world. 

Kittiwakes in the
River Tyne
by Mark Leith

The colony on Akzo Nobel, remains one of the oldest along the Tyne, and has hosted between 114-250+ pairs over the past two decades.  The adjacent riverside could be considered an ideal location to construct some artificial cliffs, which could be used by the Kittiwakes.  Facilities could also be enhanced at the local riverside parks to encourage more wildlife to flourish in the area. 

Other species of Gull can also be found along the riverside; including the largest UK species the Greater Black-backed Gull.  Black-headed, Herring and Common Gulls are also present throughout the year.

Walker Riverside Park 

An important wildlife corridor”

Walker Riverside Park can be found between St Peter’s Basin and the Ouseburn to the west; and Wallsend to the east.  The riverside habitats along the Tyne are home to a wide variety of wildlife all year round. The site has inherited some pollution from its industrial past and is in need of more restoration. The park can be enjoyed by bike, using a cycle path which extends from St Peter’s Basin to Wallsend.  There are also paths which travel close to the river and deep into the park itself. It takes a couple of hours to fully explore the park.

Please visit  Wildlife along the River Tyne to read more about the wide variety of birds that share our ‘Big River’.

A riverside habitat rich in wildlife all year round”


A Curlew
by Paul Buskin

Once a hotspot for industry, Walker Riverside Park has evolved into a wildlife haven, since the early 1980’s.  Over the past three decades, wader species such as Redshank and Curlew are now less common, whilst new species have started to visit such as Grey Heron and Little Egret.  There has also been coastal visitors such as Eider, Turnstone, and Common Scoter on the rare occasion.

Common Terns were once upon a time present daily during the spring/summer months; with over a dozen present in the day time hours.  These elegant terns still come to visit, but in smaller numbers, and often from nearby ponds such as Wallsend Swallow Pond or Killingworth Lake to feed.


A Greater Black backed Gull
by Paul Buskin


Guided Walks along the Riverside

There will be some guided walks organised to explore and enjoy this riverside habitat.  Other birds to watch out for include a variety of Warblers in the spring/summer months, which include Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat;  Bullfinches, Ring necked Parakeets and Sparrowhawks. As the seasons clock turns to autumn/winter Redwing and Fieldfare come to visit and these are joined by larger numbers of waders along the tidal shores.  Cormorants are present all year around and Seals have become a familiar sighting for the past two decades.

To register your interest, please visit

Riverside Parks – Gateshead

Detailed information regarding the riversides park/habitats for the Gateshead side of the river will be showcased in the new Wildlife along the Tyne online guide. Any future programme of ‘guided walks’ will feature locations along the river Tyne for Newcastle, Gateshead, Northumberland and North and South Tyneside.