26 27 28 29 30

Counting period: 07:00 - 11:00
Count type: incomplete species list, not all species submitted
Weather: wind ESE3, cloud-cover 8/8, precipitation drizzle, visibility 6000m, temperature 13 ℃
Observers: Matt Hobbs

Whooper Swan *  13  -  Song Thrush *  100  -  
Dark-bellied Brent Goose  -  8  Redwing *  8150  -  
Goldeneye  1  -  Mistle Thrush  2  -  
Blackbird *  736  -  Starling *  -  1200  
Fieldfare *  4500  -  Brambling *  100  -  

Totals: 14810 individuals, 10 species, 4:00 hours

Present: Skylark 12, Meadow Pipit 10, Wren 6, Dunnock 20, Ring Ouzel 1*, Blackbird 200*, Song Thrush 45*, Blackcap 3, Goldcrest 8, Coal Tit 1*, Starling 150*, Linnet 130, Northern Bullfinch 2*, Yellowhammer 30*

Bold = Remarkable observation (scarce or rare species or large number)
* = Additional info (on mouseover species)
Comments: An absolutely tremendous morning of migration. After nearly two weeks of strong south-westerlies in the UK and Scandinavia with the charts awful for arriving continental migrants a brief but very inviting window of light northerlies off Scandinavia overnight on 29-30 October looked like the perfect invitation. The wind turned east in the afternoon of 29th on the Cleveland coast then south-east overnight and then finally backing south at around 8am. The prediction of a massive arrival of thrushes was completely justified and large numbers were arriving in-off in waves all morning and apparently all day up until sunset at least. I had to go to family duties after 11am but everytime I looked out to sea or at the sky in the afternoon, there were thrushes heading south-west. I started at Staithes and headed to Port Mulgrave, where there were good numbers of grounded migrants and regular flocks of thrushes going through. However, it was only when I headed back towards Staithes at 8am that I realised that the really big numbers were flying in-off between Old Nab and Staithes. At this point I counted 2300 thrushes in 15 minutes in a near continuous stream off the sea, with massive mixed flocks of redwings and fieldfares containing at least some song thrushes and blackbirds on the edges. The passage of blackbirds was particularly impressive with birds coming in low at times and following hedgelines in loose groups of 5-10 birds. I didn't even make it to the eastern gully at Staithes, which held 150 blackbirds yesterday. I wouldn't have been surprised if the gullies held many hundreds today. It was almost impossible to count everything and I will have missed lots and lots of flocks in the clag. What was interesting was that hardly any thrushes were grounding and instead powering straight through, even in the drizzle and clag. As well as the thrushes starlings headed west with some in-off and the rest in three massive flocks of 2, 3 and 400. Two flocks of 50 bramblings also came in-off as did two flocks of lapwing and 13 whooper swan. My first northern bullfinches were at Port Mulgrave with a ring ouzel. I'm sure if I'd had all day I could have managed some epic counts and possibly a rare eastern warbler or two!