Wales has the largest population of Red Kites in the United Kingdom with an estimated 750-900 individuals in 2008, most of them concentrated in central Wales.
The red kite has a wingspan of nearly two metres, but a relatively small body weight of 2 – 3 lbs. This means the bird is incredibly agile, and can stay in the air for many hours, soaring over the countryside with hardly a beat of its wings.
This magnificently graceful bird of prey is unmistakable with its reddish-brown body, angled wings and deeply forked tail. It was saved from national extinction by one of the world’s longest running protection programmes, and has now been successfully re-introduced to England and Scotland. It is an Amber List species because of its historical decline.
Gigrin Farm (gigrin.co.uk)
At Gigrin Farm feeding station you can do some splendid bird watching, the biggest attraction being the red kite. The birds are fed daily at the same time, 2pm from October 30th and 3pm from the last weekend in March. The kites will come everyday, year round and a rare white kite can be seen regularly at the feeding station, along with crows, ravens and buzzards. The farm is a 20 mile drive from Bryncelyn guest house.
While bad weather is usually something to put you off the kites are actually more likely to come out for a meal if the weather has taken a turn for the worse.
Red Kite Feeding Station (redkiteswales.co.uk)
There are usually over 50 birds attending the feeding sessions made up from an assortment of crows, ravens, buzzards and red kites so there are great opportunities for some bird watching and you won’t be disappointed.
The feeding station is a 18 mile drive from Bryncelyn guest house and no booking required. The Red Kites are fed at the same time everyday, during British Summer Time (BST) this is at 3.00pm and during other months (GMT) this is at 2.00pm
Gwenffrwd-Dinas RSPB reserve (rspb.org.uk)
Enjoy a walk through enchanting alder and oak woodland, past fast-flowing, spectacular rivers. This reserve is set in the heart of the beauty of mid Wales and is the rumoured hide-out of the Welsh Robin Hood, Twm Sion Cati.
At the reserve you can do some wonderful bird watching and should have no problem spotting a red kite along with pied flycatchers, redstarts, common sandpipers, dippers and grey wagtails in the summer months. As the trail is set in a steep sided valley, some parts are rugged and steep, and can be slippery when wet. The nature trail is open from dawn to dusk. It’s recommended to allow two hours to complete the nature trail walk.
The reserve is a 16 mile drive from the guest house.
Carngafallt RSPB reserve (rspb.org.uk)
Carngafallt is a wonderful place to do some bird watching or simply enjoy the view. The moorland landscape looks especially colourful in late summer, while spring is the perfect time to come and see migrant birds like redstarts, whinchats and tree pipits. Woodpeckers, pied flycatchers, red kites and buzzards also make the reserve their home, and you may see badgers and hares too. Public footpaths and bridleways provide access to the beautiful nature trails.
The reserve is a 21 mile drive by car. It is open at all times and entry is free but donations are welcome.