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Tyne Kittiwake Week

Celebrating our Geordie Kittiwakes

The Tyne Kittiwakes are the most inland breeding colony of Black-legged Kittiwakes in the entire world. You might have seen them, heard them, or yep – smelled them! But what makes these intriguing seabirds so special?

Our Tyne Kittiwakes are truly oceanic gulls. Through autumn and winter they live out on the wild open ocean, cruising harsh winds and waves as they hunt for shoaling fish in the cold waters. Toward the end of winter, adult Kittiwakes start their journey back to nesting grounds – with much of our Tyne colony choosing to return home to the urban Newcastle-Gateshead Quayside, raising their chicks on the cliff-like edges of bridges and buildings.

Chips and sausage rolls are safe around our Kittiwakes, as these oceanic gulls feed exclusively on fish which they hunt and catch in the North Sea. Even our Quayside Kittiwakes make the long journey east along the Tyne to feed in the North Sea, with many heading as far as the Farnes Deep on single fishing trips.

Throughout summer the calls of Kittiwakes bring the spirit of the wild ocean into the heart of the city, a soundtrack which has become synonymous with the Quayside. Their high rise apartments look out onto the River Tyne, above the the heads of bustling market goers, out-outers and city visitors. 

For just a few months of the year, we live alongside and within this urban seabird Mecca. On the Quayside, this precarious balance of humans and wildlife living together is an example of coexistence that can be set throughout the world. It’s something we can each achieve just by discovering and enjoying our enigmatic colony, and by finding sensible solutions to protect this Birds of Conservation Concern Red Listed species.

Join us for our second Tyne Kittiwake Week, following the success of 2022, to discover more about our lush, much-misunderstood, Geordie Kittiwakes, and to celebrate them as an integral part of our ever-evolving NewcastleGateshead heritage.

For a full week, we will be hosting exhibitions, events and family activities in The Bottleworks space in Ouseburn – just along from Northern Rye. We’re delighted to share our programme of excellent exhibition contributors, all of whom have an intrigue, interest and passion for the Tyne Kittiwakes.


The full Tyne Kittiwake Week event programme can be found at the bottom of this page. To book tickets please click the link below.

Tyne Kittiwake Week has been made possible thanks to the support of North Shields band Hector Gannet, and our 2022 Kittiwake experience attendees. Thank you!


Thursday 29th June to Tuesday 4th July | 10am – 5pm

A beautiful and varied exhibition of photography and film on the Tyne Kittiwakes. Contributors include Ben Andrew, Alan Hewitt, Oscar Dewhurst and Wild Intrigue. This year we’re exploring the beauty of Kittiwakes, their place in the city, and outstanding rehabilitation efforts by local wildlife groups.

Venue: BottleWorks, 8 Riverside Walk, Byker (Ouseburn), NE6 1LX

Tickets: Open to everyone. No need to book, just pop by!

Tuesday 27th June | 1pm – 2pm

Discover the ecology, local history and intrigue of the Tyne Kittiwakes in an illustrated talk with Heather & Cain from Wild Intrigue.

Venue: Old Low Light, Clifford’s Fort, North Shields Fish Quay, NE30 1JE

Tickets: £4 or free for under 16s and Old Low Light members BOOK HERE.

Friday 30th June + Sunday 2nd June | 10am – 1pm

Join Wild Intrigue and Dan Turner from the Tyne Kittiwake Partnership for a fascinating exploration of the Tyne Kittiwake colony, and discover the history and ecology of our summer visitors. Excellent views of beautiful chicks guaranteed!

Venue: A circular tour along the Quayside, starting from Baltic Square.

Tickets: Adults £25 + Under 18s £15 BOOK HERE

Friday 30th June | 9pm – 10pm

Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the worlds most inland seabird colony, as golden hour sets over the iconic Newcastle-Gateshead skyline. Photography opportunities aplenty.

Venue: A circular tour along the Quayside, starting at Baltic Square.

Tickets: Adults £15 + Children £12 BOOK HERE

Saturday 1st July | 10am – 11.30am

The perfect mini adventure for families with young children! Join Heather from Wild Intrigue for a memorable morning discovering the Tyne Kittiwakes at her favourite spot, and enjoy a sweet treat whilst we sit and read John Miles’ brilliant children’s book, Kitty the Toon. Tickets include a copy of of the book to take home.

Venue: A short tour along the Quayside, starting at Baltic Square.

Tickets: Adults £15 + Children £12 BOOK HERE

Saturday 1st July + Sunday 2nd July | 2pm – 3.30pm

Come along to make your very own painted, wooden flying Kittiwake to take home. Just as fun for adults as well as children, we promise!

Venue: BottleWorks, 8 Riverside Walk, Byker (Ouseburn), NE6 1LX

Tickets: Free! Spaces limited, so please BOOK HERE.

Monday 3rd July | 12pm – 1.30pm

Drop by the Newcastle Quayside on your lunch break to peek through our scope and spy on nesting Kittiwakes, ask us a Kittiwake question, or share your thoughts and memories about our urban colony.

Venue: You’ll find us on the Newcastle Quayside, right by the Tyne Bridge.

Tickets: No need to book, just pop by and say hi!

The Story of the Tyne Kittiwakes
Bamff Beaver Expedition