Kittiwakes upon the Tyne

The Furthest Inland Breeding Colonies of Kittiwakes in the World

Home Tyne Kittiwake Colonies Lombard House

Lombard House

An expanding colony of Tyne Kittiwakes”

Kittiwakes have nested on Lombard House since 2014 and as of 2023 up to 24 pairs continued to use this location to host their nests during the breeding season.  This growing colony can easily be seen whilst walking over the Tyne Bridge which links the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the town of Gateshead

 

Tyne Kittiwakes nesting on Lombard House during 2022

As a small group of Kittiwakes nesting close to each other and the bridge, they often go unnoticed by visitors and residents, unless you make the effort to peek over the sides of the bridge, whilst you are walking past.

 

Kittiwakes starting to pick where they are going to nest Summer 2019

 

There is some anti-bird netting present to protect the building, however this has not been dangerous to the Kittiwakes so far.  As these birds nest very close to the Tyne Bridge, it is advised to take care not to disturb them whilst they are nesting, especially as eggs start to hatch and chicks are out and about.  

Prior to 2022, much of the colony was concentrated around a single piece of stone work; however this now stretches across to an adjacent area of stonework.  This has enabled this small colony to grow much faster. As space becomes more of a premium for the Kittiwakes, some pairs have opted to nest lower down, with one pair nesting a little too close to some anti-bird netting. As such netting ages and Kittiwakes spend more time around such anti-bird deterrents, the risk of entrapment increases.  Where similar netting has been present on other buildings, where pairs have chosen themselves to nest; there has been occasions, where birds have become entangled, which then damages any netting present; and directly makes further trappings more likely.  If individual birds are able to get in behind the netting itself, they often then find themselves trapped, as they try to escape.

 

 

Kittiwakes nesting on
Lombard House during 2020

This is usually how a classic Tyne Kittiwake Multiple Entrapment event occurs, which later involves support from the Fire and Rescue Service and animal welfare charities such as the RSPCA.  To help avoid such occurrences, the owners of such buildings are advised to ensure any anti-bird deterrents present such as netting is regularly INSPECTED and MAINTAINED. Once any netting present has been PROVEN to be a hazard to nesting birds; removal is in most cases necessary. 

Kittiwakes nesting on Lombard House by Ashley Bayston. © 2023

 “As the Kittiwakes return from their winter far out at sea,
to the Lombard House colony, we hope they remain SAFE during the 2024 season“.