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Excitement as extremely rare Belted Kingfisher spotted on River Ribble

Posted on - 8th November, 2021 - 7:19pm | Author - | Posted in - Brockholes, Preston News, Ribbleton, Wildlife and Conservation
Belted Kingfisher on the River Ribble Pic: George Shannon
Belted Kingfisher on the River Ribble Pic: George Shannon

An extremely rare Belted Kingfisher has been spotted on the River Ribble today (Monday 8 November).

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Originating from Florida, the bird is only the fourth one to ever be spotted in the UK.

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George Shannon, of Whittle-le-Woods, was fishing upstream from Brockholes near Red Scar when he spotted the incredible sight.

Stock image of a Belted Kingfisher in California Pic: Kevin Cole
Stock image of a Belted Kingfisher in California Pic: Kevin Cole

George said: “I genuinely couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

“I just stared at the bird through my binoculars running every possible scenario through my head of if it was an escapee or had I definitely got the ID correct; there really isn’t anything else it could be but I knew how rare it was.

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“I started uncontrollably shaking and fumbling to get my phone from my pocket to get some pics and that’s what caused the bird to fly some 50 metres further upstream.

“I set off to follow it but I was being mindful not to scare it. The bird then flew back over my head and back to near its original perch where if I’d stayed put I’d have got far better pics.”

Read more: How MPs in and around Preston voted on dumping sewage into rivers

George watched the bird go out of sight downstream towards Brockholes. Once word got round, the nature reserve was filled with Twitchers.

George added: “I’m hugely disappointed that the bird wasn’t relocated by nightfall. I’ll be out at first light tomorrow to try and find it.”


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What do you think of the Belted Kingfisher being spotted in Preston? Let us know in the comments.

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