Kittiwakes upon the Tyne

The Furthest Inland Breeding Colonies of Kittiwakes in the World

Home Tyne Kittiwake Colonies Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art – Kittiwakes

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Up to TWO-hundred and one pairs of Kittiwakes nest on the
» Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead. This is less than originally nested before it was converted from the old Flour Mill building to the present-day art gallery. It remains however the fourth largest colony of breeding Kittiwakes along the River Tyne.  Prior to the conversion, an alternative nesting site was designed and constructed; the » Saltmeadows  Tower.  Efforts were actioned to encourage the Kittiwakes to nest on this artificial tower instead.
Some of the Tyne Kittiwakes however really wanted to continue nesting on the old Flour Mill building and gradually dozens have returned and continued to nest on what in the present day has evolved into a gallery for contemporary art.

The Heart of the Tyne Kittiwake Colonies”

Over the past decade the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art has become a major supporter for the Tyne Kittiwakes and it can be said they play a major role in helping to raise awareness for the local colonies of breeding Kittiwakes.


Viewing Platform

A viewing platform has been provided within the ‘Baltic Gallery’.  This can be accessed by using their lifts which transport users to and from the upper reaches of the building.  Visitors can enjoy close up views of the Kittiwakes; which is especially popular with families and local schools.  The gallery also hosts regular talks and events to help showcase the Tyne Kittiwakes.

Kittiwakes nesting on the Baltic 
by Ashley Bayston © 2023

Kittiwake Cam

To complement the viewing platform, in association with the » Durham Wildlife Trust there is also now a » Kittiwake Cam where everyone can watch the nesting Kittiwakes from the comfort of their own homes. Many find the sounds of nature relaxing. This is also an opportunity to study Kittiwakes up close. Kittiwakes usually nest on sea cliffs or islands on the coast or out at sea. So such breeding sites are not often easily accessible.

Thank you Baltic Gallery

Of course, there is a cost to the
» Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art for all their efforts and there is a lot of cleaning up to do, whilst the Kittiwakes are with us during the spring/summer months. 

The gallery always welcomes donations towards helping with their expenses, whilst they are helping to support the Kittiwakes.


Kittiwakes on the Baltic
by Steven Ward

There is also a fabulous shop and café within the Baltic Centre and paid parking nearby. The exhibits within the gallery are always worth a visit.

The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, provides an opportunity for all to get up close with the Tyne Kittiwakes and helps preserve what are the ‘Furthest Inland Breeding Colonies of Kittiwakes in the World’.  Well done Baltic Centre.  We are sure the Tyne Kittiwakes appreciate their support“.


Kittiwakes nesting on the Baltic by Imogen 


Kittiwakes flying past the Baltic Gallery by Ashley Bayston © 2023