Scientific: Milvus milvus

Cymraeg: Barcud

A resident breeder which has increased in numbers in recent years.

1982
There were 48 breeding pairs in the county, an increase of 4 from 1996. There were 9 other non-breeding pairs. 28 pairs were successful with 41 young fledged. There were 37 unmated birds – some in the as yet unoccupied south west of the county.

A bird over Penclacwydd on 21st September was the first record for the Centre. Twelve birds were noted coming to roost at Rhydcymerau 20th November

1982
7 pairs laid eggs, four pairs were successful and reared a total of 6 young. Possibly an eighth pair and at least 4 other unmated single birds were known.

1983
5 pairs laid eggs and reared a total of 5 chicks, one per nest 4 other non-breeding pairs and at least 4 other non-breeding singles.. 1, near Brynaman, 22 August; 1 near Drefach, Llanelli, 23 November.

1984
Encouraging trend in county`s breeding population, 10 nesting pairs reared total of 12 young, 2 possibly 3, other non-breeding pairs and c.6 known unmated birds. At least 1 nest known to have been robbed.

1985
16 “pairs” reported of which 11 bred rearing 11 young from 8 successful nests. 1 nest robbed by egg-collector. 2 of the other pairs may have laid, but not certain; the remaining 3 pairs were non-breeders. In additon 6+ other birds were known in April 3 birds, including 2 from pairs were found dead during Apr/May, cause of death unknown. 1 Pembrey Country Park 15 January.

1986
18 pairs known of which 12 definitely laid eggs and a further 3 built nests but apparently did not lay. At least 6 unmated birds also identified in spring. Of the 12 nests with eggs, 2 were robbed by egg-collectors, 3 others failed for unknown reasons (perhaps wet weather affected them) and the other 7 produced 10 fledged young (3×2, 4×1). 1 Llangynog, 8 March, Gweunydd Cochion, Tumble, 11 April, 2 Llandyfan Rubbish Tip, Llandybie, 11 December.

1987
11 breeding pairs in Carmarthenshire reared 13 young from 8 successful nests, 3 pairs did not lay and a further 11 unmated individuals were seen in April There were no robberies. Single, near Llandybie & Ammanford, February/March.

1988
20 pairs, of which 16 pairs known to have laid and reared 18 young. Also a few unmanted birds. Outside usual range, 2 near Cwmbach, 2/3 days in June.

1989
20 breeding pairs known, 23 young reared by 14 successful pairs, 4 apparently nonbreeding pairs, also 10 unmated individuals. Singles, Milo, 17th, Llyn Llech Owain, 24 April; near Cwmllynfell, 28 July.

1990
20 breeding pairs known reared 30 young, also 8 apparently non-breeding pairs and 7+ unmated birds.

1991
Of 23 breeding pairs, 18 were successful rearing 28 young with 5 other apparently non-breeding pairs found. 1 leucistic immature with wing tabs (reared 1991) associated with Buzzards near Brook, Pendine November/December.

1992
Twenty six pairs bred of which 24 were successful and 37 young flew. Three other non-laying pairs known, plus at least 38 unmated birds, including a Spanish bird from the English introduction, identified in April and May. The best year this century as the recent increase in numbers continues.

At Brook Farm, Pendine the immature leucistic bird associating with Buzzards, which was first seen in November 1991 remained to at least the 5th February. What was probably this individual was seen at Meidrim on 14th March and at Cors Goch, Llanllwch. A single bird was at Llansteffan on 17th September and 2 at Ammanford rubbish tip on 25th December.

1993
There were 35 pairs breeding pairs (about a third of the Welsh population) and 3 non-laying pairs. Heavy rains in May/June adversely affected the breeding success, with only 23 of the pairs successful, fledging 34 young.

At Llanybydder, there were 20 on 25th January and 22 on the 16th December. Over 40 different birds were identified in the area in late October/early November. Singles were noted at Ammanford rubbish tip on five occasions between 5th July and 29th October, with a pair there on 14th October.

1994
Forty-three territorial pairs were located of which 36 were proven to breed, 23 of which were successful rearing 32 young. This constitutes c.32% of the Welsh population.

There was a roost of up to 30 birds near Llanybydder from October to December.

1995
Forty five pairs bred, of which 30 were successful with 49 young fledged. A further 6 pairs apparently did not breed, although 2 built nests. At least 38 single/unattached birds were also known.

A group of 25+ were seen over Cwn Hust, Llanllwni on 12th January.

1996
Fifty pairs were located in the county of which 6 made no attempt to breed. Of the breeding pairs 33 were successful, raising 41 young. In addition there were 38 apparently unmated birds seen in spring.

A single was at Ginst Point on 3rd September and a pale bird was seen in Llangadog on 6th November.

1997
57 known pairs of which 48 bred, or attempted to breed, fledging 41 young.

1998
58+ pairs known of which 54 bred and 35 were successful, rearing 53 young. Circa. 45 unmated birds were also identified in the early spring.

There were 2 records of single birds at Penclacwydd on 24th February and 21stApril. Other records of wandering/passage individuals included singles at Ginst Point on 8th May, Penllwyn, Mynydd Penbre on c.20th June and over Llangennech on 8th July.

1999
Of the 56 pairs located, at least 46 were believed to have bred. 35 of these pairs reared at least 50 young. There was a minimum of 31 spare birds. Red Kites are beginning to reach parts of the county where they have not normally encountered as was shown by one flying over Felinfoel on 24th July. As a corollary to this, a bird ringed as a nestling at Cilycwm in June 1995 was found dead at Wexford, Eire, the first recovery of a ringed Kite in the Irish Republic.

2000
There were 47 known nesting pairs, of which at least 44 laid eggs. 22 of these pairs were successful rearing a minimum of 28 young (details courtesy of the Welsh Kite Trust). One was seen flying low over the Berwick Roundabout nr. Bynea on 29th May and another was over the A48 trunk road at Cwmgwili on 26th June.

2001
No breeding survey was conducted. Large numbers were recorded at Oriel Jones’ Abattoir. Llanybydder – 16 on 8th June. 23 on 21st October. 6 were in a ploughed field at Llwyncwnhwyra on 15th September. The range expansion in the south east of the county continued, birds being seen throughout the year at sites including Cydweli, Bynea. Penygroes and Abergwili.

2002
Sightings were widespread, again a number coming from at or near the coast, indicating a consolidation of their recent range expansion. Thus, singles were seen at Hendy on 4th June; south-west of Llangain on 19th of the month and Cencoed-uchaf on 1st July. Penclacwydd was visited, also by a single bird, from 26th February to 24th March, and again on 4th June. Llanddeusant produced the highest counts, of 11 on 17th November and 8 on 28th September. Dryslwyn also had 8, on 9th February. Elsewhere a maximum of 4 at Pwllau, Taliaris was the best number.

2003
Reports widespread: recorded all months at Pwllau, Taiiaris, and ‘. . . Red Kites seemingly everywhere!…’ according to an email of 30th March, the maximum, of 23, coming from the Kite feeding station at Llanddeusant on 1st January; 10 at Oriel Jones, Lianybydder on 2nd February. Other notable counts, of 5, 7 and 8, from Bethlehem. Pen-y-banc. Llandeilo and Bethlehem again respectively, were made on 24th February. 26th November and 6th December. Otherwise no more than 3 together, and only one report of a single near the coast, at Llanelli, on 11th June. There were 58 known occupied territories in the county, with broods of up to 3 eggs, the majority of pairs raising one or two young. Countrywide, it is estimated that there are between 350 and 400 pairs, which raised between them from 273 to 312 young. And in the rest of the UK the species is continuing to expand its range, as a result of successful reintroduction programmes, approximately 300 pairs raising about 500 young.

2004
Forty feeding at Llanddeusant February 19th. 74 occupied territories, 62 pairs built nests, 58 pairs laid eggs, at least 41 pairs reared a minimum of 62 young.

2005
8 Usk Reservoir February 26th and 28 feeding at Llanddeusant April 2nd. The latter site is said to attract up to 80 birds on occasions. 74 occupied territories, 68 pairs built nests, 66 pairs laid eggs, at least 50 pairs reared a minimum of 78 young. Six birds hovering over a dead ewe at Llangadog January 3rd.

NB – The breeding data was provided by The Welsh Kite Trust and it is their opinion that there may be double the number of breeding pairs reported each year. Much of the county is not covered and they would welcome new watchers to help make the coverage more thorough.

2006
Now increasing both in numbers and range. With an estimated 500-600 pairs in Wales the Welsh Kite Trust now find it impossible to find and monitor every nest. Pairs are now suspected of nesting south of the M4 right down towards the coast.

2007
The population spread continues with birds regularly being reported in coastal areas. A pair were suspected of breeding close to Llansteffan. During the year 76 territorial pairs were located in the county (Welsh Kite Trust).

A leucistic bird was seen at Rhydcymerau. May 24th.