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Post Info TOPIC: Preston City Centre and environs


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RE: Preston City Centre and environs


Monday 3rd Jan 2022.

Roach Bridge.

- Belted Kingfisher (Lifer)
1st opportunity Ive had to go for the Belted Kingfisher and 1st time lucky.
Myself and another birder clocked it flying in and perch up within 15 minutes or so, albeit a little obscured.
Birding etiquette went out of the window with many observers, asking where it was and all pushing and shoving, I raised my voice and told some people theyd be better off where they were, I actually moved to where one of them had been and got a decent digiscoped image.
We observed it in flight along the river below us and heard it calling too, hard to describe, a kind of rattling sound. It flew off high towards the fishing lake but returned within about 25 mins to perch up again in its favoured spot, this time the main crowd had gone and it was enjoyed by the calmer of us birders there. Quality!

Note : last day for parking at New Southwarth Hall today, £10 field entry still, and wellies essential - the track up to the field is just as bad as the field.

To give you an idea of how far away the bird is, its the little white dot in the middle of the scenic image.


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We decided to have a go for the Belted Kingfisher at Roach Bridge, we followed the wellie advice, thanks for that everybody. Johns directions below were brilliant.

Only a dozen or so were there at 15.00 today so we had loads of room. We were told the bird was showing now and again but at distance around a little pond which is just about visible to the east but back along the way we walked a little. There is what was described as a blue boat near the back of the pond, it may not be a boat but a tank or vessel.

The Kingfisher showed high in a tree above the blue boat but in front of the boat if that makes sense at around 15.30, it showed several times but did not stay very long at all but was viewed by all present, needless to say a lifer for us both.

 As stated beware of the ascent down the muddy path which contains clay.



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Finally got onto the Belted Kingfisher on the River Darren at Roach Bridge on the 4th attempt

Take the public footpath by the post box. The access path & field are unbelievably muddy - wellies & care absolutely essential. From the footpath, walk diagonally across the field to the clifftop viewing point, where the East wind blows into your face. It might be easier to walk a little further along the footpath then cut across to the viewpoint to avoid the worst of the mud

Apparently, the Belted Kingfisher seems to have a daily routine (though no guarantees!). It seems to roost at the river bend below the viewpoint, then fish in that area in the morning perhaps going a short way upstream. Around noon it flies high East, where someone said there's a fishing pond (no access). Then, after its lunch, it returns to the river bend to roost

Obviously, it doesn't have to follow this schedule!



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Saturday 25th of December 2021 12:17:43 PM

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At the second attempt to connect with this bird the Belted Kingfisher eventually showed this morning around 11.00am, Initially landed on a low perch in full view however quickly moved into light cover and became very difficult to pick out even with a scope. £10.00 access fee and wellingtons needed.

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Belted Kingfisher showed well for a short period mid p. m, all be it distant from top of a dead tree looking up river, dropping down quickly when a Buzzard passed by.
The field is boggy but the public footpath leading to the field is extremely muddy and you need to be careful you don't go for a slide on your backside before the farmer meets you for a tenner.


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Indeed, BirdGuides has now been updated to show that there is a £10 access fee to the farmers field.

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After spending the first 57 years of my life in Darwen, at times close to the source of the river, up on the moors, I today went for the Belted Kingfisher, some 8 miles downstream, just east of Roach Bridge.

Intending to park on the New Hall Tavern car park and later donate, I arrived in darkness to find the car park rammed, as were all the limited parking spaces on the narrow lanes. I drove straight through the hamlet and managed to find a spot only 250 yds beyond the new houses going up on the right.

It was just coming light as I made my way to 'the spot' but there must have been a hundred or so birders already there. It was like a scrum at the fence, in places two or three deep. I managed to cadge a look through some kind gent's scope at the distant bird, perched in a small bush by the river bank. You really needed to be right up at the fence to stand a chance of getting on to the bird yourself. I decided enough was enough and came away. Arrived 8.10, saw the bird at 8.15 and left at 8.20.

I can well understand the farmer wanting to charge, although a tenner seems a bit much. Parts of his field were well churned up and, looking at an OS map, the viewing area is well away from what started off as a public footpath/bridleway.

A tip for anyone going. A friend of mine from Northwich saw the bird yesterday. He turned up late morning when all the 'early arrivers' had departed and was able to view the bird relatively easily with only 15 or so birders then present.

Anyway, at least the bird is still present. in the mid to late 60s, I used to have a look at the river in Darwen itself, each Sunday morning. One day it was yellow, the next red, the next blue, the next green with all the waste dyes that used to be dumped in there from the cotton mills. Times have changed, sometimes for the better.

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Be aware anyone who goes for the Belted Kingfisher, the farmer is now charging £10 for access to his field from today according to information I've just seen.

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The temptation was too great, I couldn't stand it any longer! I had an itch and I just had to scratch!! I felt I had a reasonable chance of getting the Belted kingfisher, so off I went after spending a little time at work.

I plotted my route on the OS maps app and navigated my way over. The trip worked out pretty well, with several Redwing and Goosander along the way and the return journey. A number of the Goosander were surprisingly along the Leeds-Liverpool canal near Blackburn.

I approached the field from the opposite side to the instructions, but I had no issues in finding the right viewing spot. The Belted kingfisher was already on show, though some distance away, but thanks to another birder, who let me look through his fieldscope, I managed my lifer tick. The kingfisher then came a little closer, and gave much better views. It was a challenge to view it without any obstruction of the tree branches, but as the attached pictures will show, I managed to get some clear shots.

Overall, a grand trip out with plenty of leg-aching exercise on my bike from the local Blackburn stations. Boy, those hills are a killer!!

Ta!

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Which bird is ideal for keeping cakes in? I asked. The answer: a Bun-tin. http://www.flickr.com/photos/135715507@N06


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Great views of the Belted Kingfisher on the R.Darwen at Roach Bridge this morning. It showed as soon as I arrived and spent lengthy periods perched up in a few different spots in the trees at the side the river, often quite high up, for long periods. When it flew to a different perch it frequently called. Nice to catch up with it after dipping a few weeks ago when it was on the R.Ribble.

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The Belted Kingfisher reappeared below the viewing birders at the location in the post below at 13.30 approx. flying back downstream and was helpfully quite vocal and was perched up affording excellent views at least up to 13.50 when I left for the long drive home. The vantage point viewing from the high field edge is quite sufficient to give any patient visiting birders an excellent chance of success and there is absolutely no need to climb over fences or trespass (as allegedly two people had done earlier causing the landowners to get understandably upset). It would be a shame if the odd idiot were to spoil the chances of visiting birders who have not yet managed to enjoy this bird.

Good Luck,

Mike P.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Tuesday 21st of December 2021 09:46:33 PM

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I should have said that once you pass the 7-bar gate you enter private land.

The word among those there today was that the landowner had given permission - I don't know if this is true. So tread cautiously if you visit. Good luck!

Also the police were there today because of a report that birders were blocking the road at the bridge - they were not and the police were friendly. However parking is not easy and a lot of lorries seem to cross the bridge so again be aware!



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RE: Preston City Centre


Originally posted today by Mark Woodhead:

This morning's report of the Belted Kingfisher at a site where mountaineering skills were not required at Roach Bridge, just down the road from Brockholes, and the fact that it is my birthday stimulated me to go and look for this bird. I arrived at about 11, some 90 minutes after it had been seen. I spent about 60-90 minutes on the bridge looking upstream into what looked like ideal habitat, to where it had been sited earlier with no luck (notwithstanding a common kingfisher, grey wagtail and a mink), just increasing cold.

So I decided to set off up the road turning left at the public footpath sign, along the very muddy track, through the 7-bar gate then left and over the top of the hill. There I joined some 30 others looking down on to a stretch of the River Darwen. Someone thought they saw the bird about half a mile away on a bend in the river but this was not confirmed. However some 10 minutes later the bird appeared flying down-river to land just below our position. It was then seen on and off in this area for most of the rest of the afternoon. What a birthday present!! Also a flock of 15 Mandarin flying around. If it sticks around on this stretch of river it would be well worth a visit.



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Originally posted today by Andy Slee:


Not quite the City Centre but the Leeds and Liverpool canal a few miles east. a friend is canoing from Liverpool to Leeds this week so I joined him on the section up the portage at Top Lock (bridge 82) to the M61 (past Bridge 91). Of course, there was more than friendship at play here as the Belted Kingfisher that has been roaming around Lancashire has been seen on this stretch of canal a couple of times.

The day dawned as boded well as in the final steps of the portage up to Top Lock a kingfisher flew past displaying an Azure blue and orange flash to brighten the dull dawn. We proceeded on the water, observing Great Spotted Woodpecker, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Coot, Moorehen, Mallard. An African goose was wandering the fields with Greylags (feral). Cripes it was big, unfortunately the canoe did not present a steady platform for an in focus photo. However I did get four of the eight Goosander (4 pairs) that looked at us with bafflement, seemingly coming so close you could have put your hand out to pet them, though a bite from a sawbill I imagine smarts. Photos attached, clear drybag ruins the focus somewhat.

I bailed out a Bridge 91 and returned on foot. A canal working party were chain sawing in many places between Bridge 88 and 85 so I was sure my luck on the Belted Kingfisher would fail and indeed it did, no sighting at all, but an enjoyable morning (sort of hearten by finding out the Belted Kingfisher was again at Salmesbury so I was in the wrong place entirely.

 



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This walk was a few miles south west of Preston - but was nearest location I could find for this post.

Monday, 3rd August 2020. 11:15 - 16:15 hrs.

Longton Brickcroft Nature Reserve - walk along flood banks of River Ribble - towards Longton Marsh - and return via Longton village.

Barnacle Geese x 2 (South Pond of Longton Brickcroft NR)
Little Egret x 9
Kingfisher x 1
Wheatear x 2
Grey Wagtail x 1
Grey Heron x 1
Buzzard x 1
Kestrel x 2
Sparrowhawk x 1
Great Crested Grebe x 1
Little Grebe x 1
Swallow x 15
House Martin x 10
Tufted Duck x 2
Mute Swan x 4 adults and 5 cygnets
Lapwing x 50
Canada Geese x 20
Jay x 1
Black-Headed Gull x 40
Lesser Black-Backed Gull x 25
Wren x 1
Robin x 4 (including 2 juveniles)
Blackbird x 3
Goldfinch x 5
House Sparrow x 7
Dunnock x 1
Mallards x 50
Coot x 35
Moorhen x 15
Carrion Crow x 5
Magpie x 2
Starling x 40



-- Edited by Steve Judge on Wednesday 5th of August 2020 04:44:03 PM

-- Edited by Steve Judge on Wednesday 5th of August 2020 04:46:22 PM

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Sunday 10th Dec. 09.00 - 11.30 hrs.

Walton-le-Dale.
Around Sewage Works entrance gate on Winery Lane. Postcode PR5 4AR.

Firecrest ....very mobile in the scrub but gave decent views when it came close to the fence.

Goldcrest ... numerous, had 5 together at one stage.
Treecreeper.
Chiffchaff.
Grey Wagtail.
Chaffinch.

Pied Wagtail and Meadow Pipit both probably into the 100's out on the filter beds.
Flocks of Starling and Goldfinch constantly moving around.

A lively little place ... I saw more birds in my first 20 mins than I have seen in the last month on my local patches !

Roger.

-- Edited by Roger Baker 3 on Monday 11th of December 2017 02:40:14 PM

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Walton le dale sewage works this lunchtime with Malcolm for cracking views of the Firecrest which has been there for over a week now.
Cheers Ian

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Sunday 22nd Jan, quick morning visit with Simon Gough.

1 Male Black Redstart
...showing well virtually on arrival, active and was covering most of St.Walburge's Church, some good close up views.

2 Peregrine's
...showing well, good flight views and then close up perched views on the next church down St.Mark's Rd.

Nice to see Karl Bishop again.

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Monday 23rd of January 2017 08:59:23 PM

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Black Redstart still present at St. Walbugh's Church this morning, Showing well but constantly on the move, Also Juvinile Peregrine

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Saturday 14th of January 2017 05:04:08 PM

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Attended at the church at 1.20pm today. Waited ten minutes then Black Redstart appeared on wires on edge of church roof. Eventually made its way down to the ground via a metal ladder attached to the church wall and began feeding in the debris dropped by peregrine falcons fromthe steeple. Gave good views for five minutes then made its way back onto the roof. View from pedder street alongside the parking bays just before the entrance porch to the church

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No sign of the Black Redstart till 11.55am.

Lifer for me.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Wednesday 11th of January 2017 03:10:06 PM

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Preston City Centre and environs


Called to see the 1st winter male Black Redstart at Preston today. Was not disappointed the bird is showing really well. Its at Saint Walbugh church. If you park up at the church (two hours free) outside go to the right of the church it sits on the wires at the top. Wait 10 minutes and it will come down to feed. You will know your in the right place as there are bird bits all over from the Peregrine that lives there!!! Good luck. Added a picture



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Tuesday 21st of December 2021 06:12:31 PM

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