Nicola, Pete, Lola and Nell want to travel the world with a difference. We hope to get a taste of many countries without adding to climate change (with needless emissions from aeroplanes) or having to waste hours of holiday time in airport terminals. We hope our adventures inspire you to take a Grand Tour of your neighbourhood. This post is from Nicola
The kittiwakes of Newcastle famously nest on the struts of the Tyne Bridge (see pic). You know you're at the right spot because there's a strong smell of fish and then if you look up, or cross at the wrong point in the road, you are at serious risk of being hit in the eye by a squirty kittiwake poo full of digested sandeel. We put our hoods up to try and stop this happening but Pete still wanted us to look up and admire the bridge saying it reminded him of Sydney Harbour bridge in Australia.
Sandeels are doing very badly - partly over fishing and partly climate change - but clearly the waters of the River Tyne have enough good food to keep a kittiwake & its three chicks powered up.
A few metres along the quayside Nell spotted a cormorant (a big black bird) drying its wings on the Millennium Bridge (known locally as the blinking eye) ignoring all the pedestrians and cyclists crossing to the Gateshead side by the converted Baltic flour mill which is now an art gallery. As it says on the building's giant wall: "YOU CANNOT HELP LOOKING AT THIS".