Excitement as an extremely rare Belted Kingfisher spotted on the River Ribble

American Kingfisher on the Ribble River Pic: George Shannon

An extremely rare Belted Kingfisher was sighted on the Ribble River today (Monday, November 8).


Native to Florida, the bird is only the fourth to be seen in the UK.

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

Image of a Kingfisher in California Pic: Kevin Cole
Image of a Kingfisher in California Pic: Kevin Cole

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

“I just watched the bird through my binoculars going through all the possible scenarios in my head to find out if it was an escapee or if I had definitely obtained the correct ID; there really is nothing else it could be but I knew how rare it was.

“I started shaking and fumbling around uncontrollably to get my phone out of my pocket to take pictures and that’s what caused the bird to fly about 50 yards further upstream.

“I left to follow him but I was careful not to scare him. The bird then flew over my head and returned to its original perch where if I had stayed put I would have had much better photos.

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George watched the bird disappear downstream towards Brockholes. Once the word spread, the nature reserve filled with Twitchers.

George added: “I am extremely disappointed that the bird was not moved after dark. I’ll be outside at first light tomorrow trying to find him.

Read more: See the latest news and headlines from Preston

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

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