Red Kite – 2003-07 breeding

Milvus milvus – BARCUD COCH – Scarce visitor

Fieldwork 2003-07 (based on 490 tetrads)

Red = breeding confirmed, Orange = breeding probable, Yellow = breeding possible 

Tetrads in which registered = 43 (8.8%)

Red Kites became extinct as a breeding species in Pembrokeshire in the latter half of the 19th century following intense persecution. They were not recorded breeding during the last atlas survey period but they had been noted lingering in the county into the summer (Rees and Donovan, 1994). The first proven breeding attempt since then was in 2002 when a pair laid eggs near Boncath. This attempt failed but another pair fledged two chicks near the Gwaun Valley in 2003. Since then kites have gradually colonised the north-east of the county. By the end of the survey period in 2007 there were twelve pairs holding territory, at least nine of which built nests, and further expansion has been observed since then. The origins of the colonising birds are not proven but strongly suspected to be from both Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion. During 2008 two adult birds both which were known to have been born in Pembrokeshire built a nest in the north of the county.

Whilst intentional persecution of Kites is happily now a rare event, they are still susceptible to poisoning either illegally by indiscriminate baits set for foxes and corvids or accidentally from second and third generation rat poisoning. This was brought home when one of the first two nestlings to fledge in 2003 was picked up dead before leaving the vicinity of the nest site having died of rat poison.

Another Pembrokeshire-born individual became a road casualty as it stooped to pick up carrion near Welshpool, Powys, during its first winter.

However, despite these incidents, overall survival rate is high and the Red Kite is set to return as widespread and common sight in the county to be enjoyed by all.

Paddy Jenks 

More about the Red Kite in Pembrokeshire

Red Kite – 1994

Milvus milvus – BARCUD COCH – Scarce visitor

Once a common resident but by Mathew’s (1894) time had become a rare occasional visitor. Lockley et al. (1949) added one record, a bird on the north side of Preseli Top on 17 April 1947. It occurs more frequently now, one or more being seen most years, usually appearing in the late autumn with subsequent winter records, and for the last three years staying into the summer.

Donovan J.W. & Rees G.H, 1994, Birds of Pembrokeshire

More about the Red Kite in Pembrokeshire

Red Kite – 1894

KITE, Milvus ictinus – Once a common resident, now only a rare occasional visitor.

The Rev. C. M. Phelps states that when he was a boy he often heard of, and saw the Kite glide over the farm yards, and threaten the unhappy hens with the loss of their chickens. This was on the mountains, ” some seven miles from Fishguard.” But it is now long since there were any resident Pembrokeshire Kites. Indeed, sixty years ago, the Kite had become a scarce bird in South Wales.

Mr. T. C. Heysham, the well-known naturalist, of Carlisle, was anxious to obtain a specimen from Monmouthshire, but had to wait for three years before his correspondent in that county was able to secure one. At last he had a male Kite forwarded to him in April, 1837, that had been caught in a trap, and was informed that the game- keepers had by that time rendered the Kite a very rare bird. For this interesting note we are indebted to the courtesy of the Rev. H. A. Macpherson, of Carlisle.

We have ourselves heard from old people that they can remember the Kite as quite a common bird when they were young. We have been informed by Mr. Mathias that a Kite was killed about 1835, upon the Moat Estate, by a keeper of the late W. H. Scourfield Esq.,  and passed into the collection of Mr. Ackland, of Boulston.

In February, 1854, Mr. Mathias himself saw a Kite on two occasions, and believes it to be the same bird that was shot shortly after in Carmarthenshire. There is a Kite in Lord Cawdor’s collection at Stackpole. As recently as the summer of 1893 Mr. Howard Saunders had a fine view of a Kite at Dinas. This bird may have belonged to a little colony of Kites that still exists in Central Wales. Mr. C. Jefferys, of Tenby, informs us that he has seen a Kite passing over at Pendine, and that at the present time Kites still nest in Carmarthenshire, at a locality that had better not be disclosed, where there was a nest in the summer of 1893.

Mathew M.A. 1894, Birds of Pembrokeshire and its Islands

More about the Red Kite in Pembrokeshire

Red Kite

Milvus milvus – BARCUD COCH – Scarce visitor

Red Kite – 2003-07 breeding

Milvus milvus – BARCUD COCH – Scarce visitor Fieldwork 2003-07 (based on 490 tetrads) Red = breeding confirmed, Orange = breeding probable, Yellow = breeding possible  Tetrads in which registered = 43 (8.8%) Red Kites became extinct as a breeding species in Pembrokeshire in the latter half of the 19th century following intense persecution. They […]

Red Kite – 1994

Milvus milvus – BARCUD COCH – Scarce visitor Once a common resident but by Mathew’s (1894) time had become a rare occasional visitor. Lockley et al. (1949) added one record, a bird on the north side of Preseli Top on 17 April 1947. It occurs more frequently now, one or more being seen most years, usually appearing […]

Red Kite – 1980s winter

Milvus milvus – BARCUD COCH – Scarce visitor A single Red Kite was recorded during the BTO winter atlas during the winters of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84. More about the Red Kite in Pembrokeshire

Red Kite – 1949

Species account from the Birds of Pembrokeshire, 1949, by Lockley, Ingram and Salmon.

Red Kite – 1894

KITE, Milvus ictinus – Once a common resident, now only a rare occasional visitor. The Rev. C. M. Phelps states that when he was a boy he often heard of, and saw the Kite glide over the farm yards, and threaten the unhappy hens with the loss of their chickens. This was on the mountains, ” some seven miles […]