Kittiwakes upon the Tyne

The Furthest Inland Breeding Colonies of Kittiwakes in the World

Home Tyne Kittiwake Colonies South Shore

South Shore – Gateshead

A brand new Tyne Kittiwake Colony

As the population of Kittiwakes along the Tyne continues to expand, places to nest start to become a premium.  Some locations such as the Baltic and Tyne Bridge have become very popular, especially as these are green-flagged locations where they are welcome to nest and are therefore largely free from anti-bird deterrents.  Elsewhere on the quaysides of Newcastle and Gateshead, Kittiwakes have been displaced from red-flagged buildings, where the owners are not able to allow them to nest.  These owners therefore have installed a range of anti-bird netting, spikes and avi-shock to discourage birds from nesting.


Kittiwakes nesting on the River Tyne South Shore during 2022

Despite these challenges Kittiwakes return every year.  They are regularly themselves choosing new places to nest.  During the 2022 season, six pairs settled down on an area located on the South Shore of the River in Gateshead.  Here they are more vulnerable to larger Gulls etc, especially in the early days, whilst such a colony is so small.  Five chicks were raised.  Further down river along the Felling shore, Kittiwakes have nested in similar configurations successfully; so such a location is not unusual. 

Eight pairs nested during the 2023 breeding season,
and four pairs successfully raised five chicks between them”. 

We wish them luck and it will be very interesting to see how this colony develops in the coming years.  There is certainly space for more pairs, however it is unclear how such a colony would cope in poor weather conditions such as high rainfall or rising river levels.