On the 11th April 2019
Over the past couple of weeks, more and more Kittiwakes have started to return to one of their favourite nesting colonies along the Tyne; Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside. Numbers so far have continued to be lower than last year. Fewer Kittiwakes successfully bred last year. This was repeated elsewhere along the coast; largely due to adverse weather conditions last year, such as the ‘Beast from the East’. It is therefore very important for the ‘Kittiwakes’ that they have a good season this year.
Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
Dozens of Kittiwakes have claimed some of the prime nesting locations on the ledges of the ‘Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art’. You can view live coverage via a webcam on the Durham Wildlife Trust Website at https://durhamwt.com/kittiwake-cam/
Hundreds more have claimed sites on the Tyne Bridge; largely on or around the two towers either side of the bridge. A small group of about dozen birds occupy a ledge on the west side of the bridge, with a couple of pairs on the East side. It is very reassuring that the recent repair work has been completed.
No birds have settled down to nest on the ‘Guildhall’, however about two dozen birds have been seen at times resting on the upper areas. There is an area close to the road, where about half a dozen birds are gathering. It is unclear if this is covered by the ‘Avishock’ system. A further dozen birds are spending time on the ‘white clock tower’.
There is a good chance that birds will again nest on the street lighting, which is more vulnerable to predators such as larger Gulls etc.
Up to a dozen birds have been spending time on buildings close to the roundabout, prior to the ‘Swing Bridge’, but it is unclear at this stage if they will choose to nest on any of these buildings
Kittiwakes have been spending time on the roof of the Premier Inn Hotel. Any that have landed where there is ‘Avishock’, have quickly retreated and flown off; appearing a little shocked, but unharmed. Usually they shake their heads a few times after this happens.
Dozens of birds are settling down to nest on the railway bridge; and numbers there are looking quite promising.
No birds have settled down to nest on ‘Phoenix House’ this year. About a dozen Kittiwakes have been spending time away from the ‘fire gel’ however on the building.
Pairs of Kittiwakes are settling down to nest at Tynemouth, North Shields, and Felling. The Kittiwake Tower is also very busy in Gateshead, with dozens of pairs starting to nest.
More information will appear on this site over the coming weeks.