Kittiwakes upon the Tyne

The Furthest Inland Breeding Colonies of Kittiwakes in the World

Home Tyne Kittiwake Colonies Railway Bridge – Tyne Kittiwakes

Railway Bridge – Tyne Kittiwakes

Up to 130 pairs of Kittiwakes listen to the trains go by

In the centre of Newcastle, a short distance from the Tyne Bridge and the Quaysides of Newcastle and Gateshead, you can find a small railway bridge that takes travellers, too and from the city centre of Newcastle upon Tyne.  During the spring and summer months, this railway bridge has been adopted by the local population of breeding Kittiwakes, to build their nests.  From a humble start of almost a dozen pairs back in 2016; this small group has grown to a modest 130 pairs. 

This fast growing colony of Kittiwakes, largely goes unnoticed, by many, that share our big city.  At this location they look so peaceful and watch life below as they raise new chicks for the next generation of Tyne Kittiwakes.  There is potential for more pairs to nest on the bridge, however in recent years, Kittiwakes have opted to expand onto nearby buildings such as a large hotel adjacent.  3-4 pairs have built nests on the nearby hotel 2020-2023.  

The furthest inland colony of Tyne Kittiwakes

The group of Tyne Kittiwakes on this Railway Bridge is the furthest inland colony of breeding Kittiwakes from the Newcastle and Gateshead population. There is some old anti-bird gel present on the borders of where they nest, but elsewhere seems pretty free from netting and spikes.  This is the sixth largest colony of Kittiwakes along the Tyne

There are unconfirmed reports however of Kittiwakes being recorded nesting around the Gateshead Staiths, many years ago, prior to 1994.  During 2022 pairs were noted on numerous occasions also as far as the Scotswood Bridge.  No evidence of nesting was found however beyond the High Level Bridge. 

Kittiwakes returned for the 2023 season and nested successfully on
the railway bridge for another year.”