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As I walked around Newcastle, especially near the river, I couldn’t help noticing that there seemed to be an awful lot of ‘seagulls’ around, and that at times they made a heck of a row.  Personally, I loved them, and couldn’t help admiring how they made their nests in the most ingenious of places:P1110454




Under the Tyne Bridge

When I reached the top of the Baltic Flour Mills, now the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, my breath was taken away with surprise:



I had already been thinking that no doubt the powers-that-be spent thousands of pounds trying to get rid of them, but I was delighted to be absolutely wrong:


Impossible to read here, and difficult even on site, but broadly the panel indicates that Newcastle Gateshead is proud to assist the kittiwakes, and does so through a partnership of local authorities and wildlife bodies.


Kittiwakes usually nest in sea-cliffs from March to August (the rest of the year they are at sea) but these were used to nesting on the Baltic building. When this was redeveloped and finally opened in 2002, a Kittiwake Tower was built a little down-river for them to move to. Some did, but many returned to the Baltic building, and even more continue to nest on and around the Tyne Bridge. This is the most inland colony of kittiwakes in the world. More information here.


Young kittiwake preparing to fly off to sea.

For me it was a thrilling discovery, and it’s so good to learn that these kittiwakes, which bring so such pleasure, are being protected.  Searching for information on them does however sadly indicate that not everyone agrees with me.

Next post: on to Glasgow.