Tyne Estuary – North Tyneside

Birdwatching Sites Tyne Estuary – North Tyneside

As the River Tyne meets the North Sea, an important coastal and riverside landscape merges to make up the Tyne Estuary. Two large piers stretch from Tynemouth to the north and South Shields to the south. The rocky coastline/river edges between Tynemouth and Tynemouth Haven and the North Shields Fish Quay are rich in wildlife, especially during low tides. An area known as the ‘Black Maidens’ is particularly good for waders and Gulls and can be clearly seen as the tide recedes, as you travel towards Tynemouth.

Key Species to watch for include Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Turnstone, Redshank, Purple Sandpiper, Curlew, Ringed Plover and a wide range of gulls, which can include Glaucous and Iceland Gull’s. In 2011 a Sabine’s Gull was present in the area much to the delight of local birdwatchers.

Eiders, Cormorants and Rock Pipits are also present all year round.

A Curlew

There is parking in Tynemouth to the north and North Shields to the South. Visitors can enjoy a relaxing walk, between these two towns and there is seating which is great for extended birdwatching visits. This is a great site if you’re interested leisurely walks. During the winter months, visitors are recommended to wrap up warm however as the area is exposed to the elements.



Tyne & Wear, North Tyneside.


  • Coastal


There is free access to North Shields Fish Quay, the Tyne Estuary and Tynemouth Haven.

There is suitable for wheelchairs users, however access to certain areas is limited or restricted.


There are toilets, shops and cafes available at both North Shields Fish Quay and Tynemouth Village.


There are various car parks available, which include free parking or pay and display.