Kittiwakes upon the Tyne

The Furthest Inland Breeding Colonies of Kittiwakes in the World

Home Tyne Kittiwake Colonies Tynemouth Haven – Tynemouth

Tynemouth Haven

A coastal colony of Tyne Kittiwakes

As the River Tyne meets the North Sea between the coastal towns of North and South Shields, two enormous piers, mark the way.  On the North Tyneside part of the mouth of the Tyne, you can find a small coastal shore, surrounded by steep cliffs known as » Tynemouth Haven.  This is popular with coastal waders, Cormorants and Eiders all year round.

Tynemouth Haven is a great location to view a coastal colony of Kittiwakes. There is a viewing area which is easily accessible if you turn left at the start of the pier.  Within a relatively short distance there is a free car park, however places are limited, especially during busy times.  There is a also a fee paying car park nearby.  Tynemouth is packed with wildlife as the seasonal clock turns and the views can be breath-taking. 

Kittiwakes return every year to nest on the sea cliffs.  Tynemouth Haven is home to the second largest colony of Tyne Kittiwakes.  Since 2005 the numbers of nesting Kittiwakes on the sandstone sea cliffs, such as Pen Bal Crag has risen from just over a hundred pairs to up to 387 pairs as of 2022/23.  Many of the nests at this location are washed away once the birds leave, unlike their inland cousins, where they often find their nests pretty intact when they return again the following spring.   Nearby Fulmars and Sand Martins are also present. During the autumn, Black Redstarts regularly visit, with some individuals remaining in the area over the winter period.




A pair of Kittiwakes
with a young chick
Summer 2020