Ducklings fall to earth for Hackbridge driver
It may have been raining cats and dogs recently, but one motorist got quite the surprise when it started raining ducklings.
Allison Cornell saw four of the newly-born birds fall to the ground at the junction of Butter Hill and London Road last week while driving to Hackbridge.
She said: "I saw a lady fumbling about with something on the floor."
"Not sure if she needed help, I stopped the car and got out."
"As I walked over the grass verge 'plop’ a little duckling fell to the floor in front of me."
"Then like rain a couple more fell out of the tree near me onto the floor."
She ended up helping the lady reunite six ducklings with their mother, who was waiting for them in a nearby pond.
Getting back in her car again and driving off, she was on her way back from her destination when she looked over to the same spot and saw another duckling fall to earth.
She said: "I pulled into the pub car park and quickly went to the rescue of the seventh duckling."
Reuniting it with her mother who was still with the other ducklings and their mother in the pond, she checked again on them later to find they were fine.
Nature expert Tony Drakeford explained the phenomena.
He said: "Ducks breed and make their nests in trees.
Then very soon after their eggs hatch, the ducklings fall to the ground, that’s what was seen."
They parachute to the ground flapping their wings very quickly, and survive very high falls because of their light skeletons and feathers.
He said miss Cornell had done well to help the ducklings to safety as they were very vulnerable to prey and could easily get separated from the rest of their family after falling.