Newcastle-Gateshead kittiwakes arrive back on Tyneside


Nest on a street lightImage copyright
Daniel Turner

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Ornithologist Daniel Turner said the birds were inventive and “resilient” when it came to places to nest

The first birds of a colony of breeding kittiwakes have arrived back at the Newcastle and Gateshead quaysides.

The protected seabirds also nest on the Tyne Bridge, and the number of pairs rose from 872 in 2015 to 1,353 in 2019, despites spikes and nets being set out.

The RSPB said the birds had returned for the summer, and are the furthest inland breeding colony in the world.

The Tyne Kittiwakes Partnership said the birds could be watched on a camera at the Baltic during lockdown.

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NAtural History Society Northumbria

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Kittiwake chicks are weighed by volunteers and members of the Tyne Kittiwake Partnership

Last year ornithologist Daniel Turner said the birds were inventive and “resilient” when it came to places to nest after he discovered a pair on top of a street light.

The birds – a type of protected gull – are popular with birdwatchers but businesses have complained about noise and mess.

Some have used illegal measures to deter their nesting, but others use harmless electrical shocks to move them on.

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Daniel Turner

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The birds have managed to nest in between spikes in previous years

A colony has been on Tyneside for more then 70 years,

An RSPB spokesman said the free live webcam was “a great educational tool for families and hours of entertainment for nature lovers”.

“Marvel at a close-up view of the birds as they reunite with their partners, build nests, lay eggs and rear their chicks,” he said.

Image copyright
Daniel Turner

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The birds have been recorded as nesting on Tyneside since 1949

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