Kittiwakes upon the Tyne

Showcasing the progress of the Kittiwakes along the River Tyne

Home Tyne Kittiwake Diary Update 4th May 2019 – Tyne Kittiwakes

Update 4th May 2019 – Tyne Kittiwakes

Tyne Kittiwakes choosing
where to build their nests


Over the past month, small groups of Kittiwakes have continued to gather on the ‘white clock tower’ and on the roof of the Guildhall. No birds appear to be nesting where the ‘avishock’ system has been installed. The group that was spending time close to the road junction have now dispersed.

So it appears, the new anti-bird deterrent (avishock), that replaced last years anti-bird netting, has successfully, deterred any Kittiwakes from building nests on the Guildhall this year. These nesting Kittiwakes will be well missed. As colony numbers are lower this year, Kittiwakes have not had any problems finding alternative nesting sites.

Railway Bridge

Dozens of Kittiwakes have paired up and have built nests on the railway bridge. We wish them lots of luck.

Street Lights

A couple of pairs continue to hang out on top of some of the street lights. Any birds that choose to nest there, will be more vulnerable to predators. Despite the reduced odds of success, young Kittiwakes successfully fledged from the ‘street lighting’ nests last year.

Phoenix House

Kittiwakes successfully bred on this building last year. A new anti-bird deterrent ‘fire-gel’ was added this year, to replace some areas of anti-bird netting that injured or trapped birds last year. Despite the change, there is evidence two pairs maybe trying to nest. Some pots of the ”fire-gel’ are now empty and Kittiwakes do still land on the building, but they are clearly uncomfortable from the experience when encountering the fire-gel. The first pair, seem to have chosen a location, which didn’t have a tub of ‘fire-gel’ or any anti-bird netting, and the nest looks quite safe. The second pair however have precariously positioned their nest onto a vintage arch. Elements hang over the side. This nest is potentially vulnerable to failure.

Premier Inn

Kittiwakes continue to spend time relaxing on the roof of the Premier Inn. Any birds that have stopped off have enjoyed a good sleep. The new anti-bird deterrent (avishock) is deterring birds from landing wherever it is installed. No birds are nesting there. Lots of thanks go to the ‘Premier Inn’ for the removal of the anti-bird netting that trapped or injured Kittiwakes last year. It would be nice to see @premierinn make a small donation towards helping the Kittiwake Quayside colony this year via the @balticmill justgiving appeal or help @B_W_R Blyth Wildlife Rescue, which helped with many of the Kittiwake rescues last year.  This would help the local colony of Kittiwakes recover from some of the losses last year.

Vermont Hotels

No changes appear to have been made to these hotels this season, in relation to anti-bird deterrents. We hope no birds are again trapped or become injured in their anti-bird netting. A dead bird remains on their quayside hotel still from last year. Two-Three pairs are showing signs of nesting on the front of the hotel, on anti-bird netting. Volunteers and members of the pubic are watching out for the ‘Kittiwakes’ again this year.

Should anyone find a trapped or injured Kittiwake this season, please contact the
RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty and advice helpline on 0300 1234 999.

To help officers locate birds in trouble explaining where they can be viewed from is very useful.

Tyne Bridge, Baltic and Kittiwake Tower

Hundreds of Kittiwakes are busy bees, with their partners, investing all their efforts into this years breeding season. Some Kittiwakes are spending time under the bridge itself.

It was expected as birds were displaced from other buildings, such as the Guildhall and Phoenix House, Kittiwakes would seek out new places to nest. At this time there appears to be plenty of capacity for Kittiwakes to nest.

You can view live coverage of the Kittiwakes on the
Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
via a webcam on the Durham Wildlife Trust Website at


Every year Kittiwakes make the narrow ledges of BALTIC their home. @Balticmill love providing a safe habitat for them to nest and they provide an opportunity for the public to experience these beautiful birds up close. This is great for education, conservation and helps raise awareness for seabirds.

Please help them if you can. Maintenance of the Kittiwakes’ habitat on the side of BALTIC every year is very costly (working out around £50 a Kittiwake) but it would not be the same without them. Your donations will help them to keep their home clean and safe.

click here if you can help them with a small donation

This is always very much appreciated.  They have raised only about 10% so far, so more help is needed to help secure this very important nesting site.  Globally numbers have fallen by 40% so every nest makes a huge difference; especially during this time of climate change.