Wildlife Information


The nature reserves at the north west corner of Hayling Island are species rich for such a small area. This is largely due to the importance of Langstone Harbour being on the migratory route and destination, of many bird species.
The muds in the harbour being rich in invertebrates, seaweed, fish and other creatures which help to support and sustain them.

This section provides information on the wildlife you can see together with photographs that may help you with identification. Much of the detail has been summarised from Wikipedia and links are provided to guide you to further information.

What we have here is only a fraction of what can be seen and we would welcome your photos and sightings. Any information that is provided and used on the website, shall be credited to the author.



The Billy Trail and Nature Reserves have varied habitats – marshland, meadow and coastal. These encourage a wide diversity of flora with the likes of poppies seen on the seashore and typically orchids in the grasslands. Rose shrubs, thistle and sea beet to name a few are also found and the magnificent Monterey Pine can be found between Hayling Halt Car Park and the oyster beds. With its low spreading branches it offers welcome shade on a hot summers day.

Cattle and sheep can sometimes be found in the fenced meadow and Marshland. These help to manage the area in a natural way. Volunteers help manage other areas by removing plants that would otherwise take over, carrying out surveys, hedge laying and also clearing litter and items washed onto the shoreline from the harbour.

All Flora is limited to that which can be found in the Nature Reserve.



The indigenous wildlife on the trail is rich and varied, supported by the relatively mild winters and diverse habitats on land and the muds of Langstone Harbour.

The bird population changes with the seasons with many species of migratory birds arriving in the harbour for both the summer and winter months. Notably three species of tern arrive from West Africa to breed on the harbour islands and at the Oysterbeds during the spring/summer months. In the autumn and winter months the summer visitors are replaced by geese, ducks and waders, seeking sanctuary from colder climates and the rich pickings to be had in the harbour and surrounding land. These movements add to the rich tapestry of the local wildlife.

Listing of bird SPECIES is limited to those that have been seen on Hayling Island or its Langstone Harbour shoreline. An indication is given against each bird species,  as to whether they are Resident, Summer Visitors, Winter Visitors or can only be seen On Migration. A guide as to where they may be seen is also included.

 Table of contents:

  • Spotter Guides – Aid to identifying plants and animals you may find. These may become downloadable later to assist whilst visiting the nature reserve.
  • Wildlife reports – Top down list of reports issued. These provide information about what to look for based on past and current reports.
  • Classification systems – Learn about why and how the classification of organisms about us was developed from Aristotle (Order of perfection) to the present day (Order of Evolution) which is an internationally recognised structure of organisms.
  • Animals (Fauna)
    • Arachnids – These include spiders, scorpions, harvestmen, ticks and mites,
    • Birds – Species that can be seen in the nature reserve and Langstone harbour.
    • Insects – Invertebrates with six legs, 3 part bodies (head, thorax and abdomen).
    • More to add ………..
  • Plants (Flora)

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