Kittiwakes upon the Tyne

Sharing the Latest News for the Kittiwakes along the River Tyne

Home Tyne Kittiwake Colonies High Level Bridge – Tyne Kittiwakes

High Level Bridge – Tyne Kittiwakes

A new high rise Kittiwake colony upon the Tyne”

The High Level Bridge is a road and railway bridge between Newcastle and Gateshead.  Designed by Robert Stephenson , the main structural elements are tied cast-iron arches.   It was built by the Hawks family from 5,050 tons of iron.  The bridge was officially opened by Queen Victoria in 1849.

Tyne Kittiwakes started to take an interest in the High Level Bridge from 2017 with a single pair nesting but their first attempt was unsuccessful.  On returning the following season a single chick was raised; whilst during 2018 the small colony present had increased to four pairs.  Pairs continued to nest 2019-2023 with a max of 13 pairs in 2022 and 11 pairs recently during the 2023 breeding season. 



Of course, there is certainly space for more pairs to nest;
however at present, it is not clear what the position is in relation to the colony remaining long term and the owners may opt to install some form of anti-bird deterrent to attempt to deter/prevent further nesting. 

The bridge itself was fairly recently restored and is due for further works in the near future.  It was closed to most vehicles when cracks appeared in the pedestals in 2019.