North Shields Fish Quay
Dating back to the 13th Century, this fishing port located close to the mouth of the Tyne, formed part of the original settlement of North Shields. This site is a popular visitor attraction and is well known for its tasty fish and chips. You are guaranteed amazing panoramic views and fresh coastal air. The fish quay is one of the highlights of the River Tyne and is always filled with wildlife all year round.
There are variety of locations to enjoy along this famous riverside/coastal habitat. These range from the riverbanks which tower high above the fish quay. From the top you can enjoy the most exciting views. Here you can observe where the River Tyne meets the North Sea to the west; whilst to the east, the tyne stretches as far as the ferry port.
You can also pick out a good selection of Gulls, on the fish quay roofs, which can include Turnstones at times. To the left of the fish quay, there is a public car park, which sits alongside a rocky beach with a small area of sand. This popular with waders all year round which can include Curlew, Dunlin, Oystercatcher, Purple Sandpiper, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Sanderling and Turnstone.
“In the winter, the fish quay roofs are a favourite for visiting Iceland and Glaucous Gulls, whilst nearby Cormorants can been seen drying out their wings”.
Other gulls present often includes, Greater and Lesser Black backed Gulls; and Black headed, Common Gulls and Herring Gulls.
This is also a great site to get up close with Eiders, as they enjoy some shore leave resting on the rocks nearby or can be seen swimming in the calmer’s waters of the river close to the quay.
In the summer Common and Sandwich Terns noisily announce their arrival, whilst Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers can be heard singing from the nearby riverbanks. Another highlight is the chorus of “kittee-wa-aaake” which can often be heard in the spring and summer, as Kittiwakes from the coast and the Newcastle Quayside colony come to visit.
Laurel Park, which sits high above the Fish Quay remains a favourite for Greenfinches and recently hosted some visiting Waxwings. It maybe a very small park, but is very relaxing.
A traditional Victorian Park situated between North Shields and Tynemouth, which has recently been refurbished as part of a re-generation project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and supported by a local community group. The park is home to Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers and Blackcaps during the spring/summer months and variety of woodland birds all year round.
As the park is relatively close to the coast, migrants/vagrants at times visit as they are passing through such as Yellow-browed Warblers and Flycatchers. The park is popular with the local residents, but not well visited by birders at this time.
Recent highlights have included a Mandarin in 2014 and some Ring-necked Parakeets in 2016.
“A Firecrest has wintered in recent years
which has been very popular with birdwatchers”.
There is a small lake in the centre of the park, which is home to Mallards and Moorhens.
Other birds present can include Grey Wagtail, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper, Mistle and Song Thrush. Redwing and Fieldfare’s can also be recorded in the winter.
Grey Squirrels can be seen climbing nearby trees at times and are featured on the parks ‘wildlife display boards’. They are very much welcomed by the local residents and park users.
Visitors are recommended to also visit the nearby Tyne Estuary and Tynemouth.