26 January 2017 Keyhaven

High water (Hurst Spit) : 09.10

State of tide: mid-way between springs and neaps.

Weather: Overcast, dry and bright with very cold wind blowing straight in from the frozen continent.
Duncan led a hardy and keen group of 9 people (including one member from Romsey) from Keyhaven in what most, if not all, of us considered were sub-Arctic temperatures! Indeed, one member (our illustrious secretary) 
wore a jacket of the type worn by the military in the Arctic!

Marsh Harrier
We walked inland via the Balancing Pond, along the Ancient Highway to the bottom of Lower Pennington Lane before heading to the sea wall and back to Keyhaven.

Our perseverance and enthusiasm was rewarded with a total of 47 species. Particular highlights were two male Pochard on the new pond north of the eastern end of the Ancient Highway, which is a good record for our coastal area, a female Marsh Harrier at rest and also in flight over Pennington Marshes, close views of a Raven flying and then landing on the sea wall near the Jetty and a group of six Spoonbills alighting on Fishtail Lagoon. Pintail and Snipe were present in good numbers, the latter often watched feeding out in the open.

Additionally, three Roe Deer were spotted near the Balancing Pond and further on, lying down and sheltering from the wind on a bank on Pennington Marshes, were two more! The only plant in flower was not surprising – Gorse!