In November 2014 I found 2 first winter Yellow-legged Gulls by North Pier Greenwich.  On the way back from the O2 around midnight Redwings called as they flew over in the darkness.  This made me think about birds in urban settings.  It also made me think about how important are these birds to people.

Back home I realised that Newcastle/Gateshead -whilst they are covered by two counties and two bird clubs separated by the River Tyne fit neatly into one 10km square.  NZ26 has none of the major nature reserves that attract birders.  Not surprisingly there have been no major rarities found for a while.  The Laughing Gull and the Ring-billed Gull of 1986 are distant memories and even the Firecrest in Leazes Park is too far back in the past.  Waxwings in most years do excite the rare bird messages until the complaints about too many messages of Waxwings.  Don’t ever get too bored with Waxwings.

Kittiwakes are the urban phenomena of the Tyne nesting on both sides of the river and one of the bridges that joins them.  These are truly special birds and during the summer draw in birders and non-birders alike.

However, there is more to urban birding on Tyneside than Kittiwakes -as wonderful as they are.  This blog is a record of my challenge to me to bird around NZ26 in 2015.  I can’t guarantee to find a rare bird, but I can guarantee to be surprised.  Its not a bird but just in scoping out the tetrads I came across this mistletoe growing on one small tree in a residential area in the east of NZ26.

Mistletoe NZ2060



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