Worker Praised for Helping Lead Family of Lost Ducks to Water

22 May 2020

Family of Ducks rescued

Scottish Water worker David Lindsay came across the family of mallards while out repairing a burst water pipe

A Scottish Water worker has been praised for helping a mother duck and her young chicks who he found waddling along one of Edinburgh’s busiest streets get to safety.

David Lindsay said he was “stunned” to see the group of mallards on the Capital’s George Street while he was out working. 

He followed the mother and her ten ducklings as they walked along the road – slowing down traffic on the road to ensure they were safe. He also managed to capture the rare sight on video.

The 50-year-old was worried the ducks had got lost and contacted the Scottish SPCA, who came and rescued the birds and took them to the safety of the Water of Leith.

David said: “I was out repairing a water burst when I looked up and could not believe my eyes. There was a proud mummy duck with tiny chicks waddling behind her down one of Edinburgh’s main streets. In my 27 years of working in the water industry in the city centre I have never seen such a sight. I have seen a fair few foxes but never a family of mallards.

“Obviously the streets were very quiet due to the current Coronavirus lockdown but there were some people about. I felt like the Pied Piper following them for a wee while to make sure they were safe and slowing down traffic to let them waddle by.

“The wee chicks were really young, they looked weeks old. I am not sure which bit of water they had walked from but it must have been fairly far away and for those wee ones’ legs that must have been like running several marathons.”

“I had work to do so called the Scottish SPCA who were out very quickly and who helped out after I’d followed the birds down Dundas Street.”

David, who works in Scottish water’s Field Response team for central Edinburgh, added: “It really is a miracle they got as far as they did and managed to get back to safety. Seeing them has given me a new found respect for ducks.”

Scottish SPCA chief superintendent, Mike Flynn, praised David for getting in touch with the charity – and helping ensure they got to safety.
He said: “Ducks often nest in high places for safety and then make their way down to ground level with their ducklings. In this case the duck probably made her nest on the roof or balcony of a nearby building before coming down to street level.

“We’re really grateful to David for looking out for the family of birds and giving us a call. The public are our eyes and ears and thanks to his quick response we were able to get the ducks to safety.”