River Tyne Kittiwakes

1994 to present

Daniel M Turner has surveyed the black-legged kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla nesting along the river Tyne in northeast England (county Tyne and Wear) annually since 1994. Here are a few of his notes, results and photographs. Since summer 2015 Dr Kathy Evans has assisted him by performing additional surveys at the Akzo Nobel site on the river at Felling.

Newspaper articles

Newcastle Journal, 1 January 2022: Surging Tyne kittiwakes buck the national trend
The River Tyne nesting kittiwakes show increasing numbers despite global declines. The article also invites entry for readers to vote on the best Tyne nest.
PDF File [329.1 KB]

2020 season

Note prepared on Thursday, 20 August 2020.


The Tyne Bridge north abutment held 412 apparently occupied nests (pairs) this breeding season which produced around 383 nestlings (a breeding productivity of 0.93 chicks per nest). Meanwhile the Baltic Art Centre held 171 (pairs) this season, producing 174 chicks (a breeding productivity of 1.02). These are just some of the results from a marvellous river Tyne kittiwake year.

(Photo: north abutment and juvenile kittiwake, 15 Aug 2020).

Tyne Bridge, North abutment with juvenile, 15 August 2020

Tuesday, 18 August 2020 (Diary extract)


Late afternoon saw me observing at the Newcastle and Gateshead quaysides, checking to see how many kittiwakes remained at this late stage. At the Tyne Bridge north abutment I recorded five adults and thirteen juveniles while the Baltic Art Centre held one adult and six juveniles. One chick remained at a nest on top of a lamp standard near to Newcastle Guildhall.

Newcastle quayside lamp standard nest, 15 August 2020
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