Red Kites Llandeilo to Brecon 2016

Red Kites Llandeilo to Brecon 2016


The objective of monitoring the Red Kites in this area is to ascertain the size of the population on an annual basis. The population size is compared to that the previous year to ascertain an expansion or contraction. An expansion involves identifying new pairs and a contraction identifying missing pairs. The outcome of each breeding attempt in terms of the number of young produced  is included in an assembly of data in respect of each year so that an ongoing assessment of the total population can be made year on year and trends identified.

Area covered

The area of Wales covered by this study lies between Brecon, Powys in the east and Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire in the West. It is bounded on the North by the A40 Trunk Road between Brecon and Llandeilo and on the South by the mountain and moorland of the Brecon Beacons. The boundary in the East was originally the A470 and in the West the A483. In recent years the adjoining area comprised in the Eppynt Valleys has also been covered. This lies immediately to the north of the A40 and extends from Llandovery and the A483 Builth Wells Road in the West to Brecon and the B4520 Upper Chapel Road in the East and on the North by the military ranges of the Eppynt Uplands.

For the sake of comparison with studies of other species it seemed more rational to define the whole area by reference to 10-km squares and the boundaries have been amended to reflect that. The whole study area now includes SN62, SN72, SN82, SN92, SO02, SN73, SN83, SN93 and SO03.

Two of the 10km squares included in the area south of the A40, SN72 and SN92 are distinguished by the goal of finding every kite nest by checking every possible site, whether historic, traditional, recent or potential. In the wider area outside these 10km squares and in the Eppynt Valleys an attempt is made to check all nests from the previous year and recent years, potential areas of woodland and to follow up any leads or information. SN72 has included a Red Kite Feeding Station since 2003.


Starting as early as possible in the Season priority is given to checking all the Nest Sites from the preceding Season by watching at a distance from a high vantage using bins or scope, firstly in both 10km squares then in the wider area and Eppynt. When a conclusion can be reached on these Sites being occupied then all the nest sites from earlier years are checked and finally historic breeding sites, some going back to the 1800’s.


Information on each Occupied Site is included in a data assembly following the information required by the Nest Record Cards published by the British Trust for Ornithology. The number of young reared is then used to calculate the average young per Occupied Site and also the young per successful nest. These figures can then used for comparison between years,  between different areas in Wales and in England, between 10km squares, between pre- and post- Feeding Stations and pre- and post- the Fallen Stock Scheme introduced in 2003. This figure is subject to the usual cautions that it may not always be possible to see all the young in a nest and that one or more young may have already fledged.

2016 Results

In the 2016 Season 119 Occupied Sites were found and 117 pairs laid eggs. The total number of young was 89.

The productivity figures resulting from this are 0.74 per nesting pair and 1.22 per successful nest. The figures when broken down into 10km squares are as follows:


Area Number of Nesting Pairs Number of Successful Nests Total Fledged Fledged per Nesting Attempt Fledged per Successful Nesting Attempt
SN72 43 26 32 0.72 1.23
SN82 17 7 8 0.47 1.14
SN92 12 8 11 0.91 1.35
West of SN70 3 1 2 0.66 2.00
East of SN70 3 3 5 1.70 1.70
Eppynt 41 27 31 .75 1.14
Overall 119 72 89 .74 1.22


An attempt has been made to show the Eppynt nests for 2016 separately and with the SN82 nests were taken out of the 2015 Eof70 (ie East of the SN 70 Easting) and EandE (ie East and Eppynt) nests. It is intended to show nest sites by reference to 10-km squares in future and convert 2015 and earlier results to the same basis.


The 2015 figures are as follows:


Area Number of Nesting Pairs Number of Successful Nests Total Fledged Fledged per Nesting Attempt Fledged per Successful Nesting Attempt
SN72 42 29 34 0.81 1.17
SN92 13 9 13 1.0 1.33
West of SN70 4 4 5 1.25 1.25
East of SN70 32 22 27 0.84 1.22
Eppynt 16 7 7 0.44 1.0
Overall 107 71 86 0.80 1.21

It is hoped to make the comparisons to be drawn from the above Results with previous years the subject of future reports.