What looked like a nice day turned into a horrible one with a howling easterly wind and rain showers.
I started from Lower Pennington Lane and walked on the landward side to Keyhaven. A Roe Deer fed unconcerned near the path on the infill site.
At Keyhaven I was checking out some Meadow Pipits feeding on the foreshore when I falcon appeared from nowhere and tried to grab a pipit but missed. The bird then flew out towards the saltmarsh but stopped and perched up on the top of a yacht mast. It then revealed itself to be an immature/female Merlin (168).
I then started walking back to Pennington. One the Fishtail Lagoon at the eastern end I found the Grey Phalarope (169). A first winter bird with some black feathering on the upperparts, a dark crown, dark mark through the eye and a yellowish wash to the side of the neck. I showed it to a couple who were walking nearby.
I then walked towards the jetty, scanning the sea for any grebes etc. Managed to pick up a couple of Eiders and a Red-breasted Merganser.
Near the jetty I heard the unmistakable song of a Dartford Warbler (170) and almost immediately a couple of birds flew from the gorse by the sea wall and started chasing each other (one singing as it did so).
Next up was a winter plumaged Slavonian Grebe (171) which was diving in the sea on the east side of the jetty
The final good birds of the day were a loose flock of Spotted Redshanks on a pool on Oxey Marshes.
I left early as the weather deteriorated further.