A local ornithologist has been monitoring the Tyne kittiwakes for 25 years during which time a great increase in their numbers at Newcastle-Gateshead Quayside has been recorded. This is incredible, not just because of the special place these birds have chosen to nest, but in light of the significant reductions in kittiwake populations elsewhere.
Since the 1960s, the River Tyne has supported the most inland breeding colony of kittiwakes in the world. Each spring, these pelagic gulls return to the Newcastle-Gateshead Quayside where they nest on buildings and structures, including the Tyne Bridge. The kittiwakes are now part of this iconic cityscape and a tourist attraction in their own right.