Quacking good sight on Leighton Buzzard high street as shopkeepers rescue trapped ducklings

Ducklings. Video taken by Gennaro Borrelli.
Ducklings. Video taken by Gennaro Borrelli.

A Leighton Buzzard shop proprietor and his family made heads turn in town as they rehomed a mother duck and her babies.

Phil Curtis, of Selections Pet and Garden store spotted a female mallard loitering outside Ephesus restaurant in April, and wondered whether she had chosen to lay her eggs in the town.

Phil and the ducklings.

Phil and the ducklings.


His suspicions were confirmed on Thursday when the female was spotted nesting on land south of the high street, and Phil, along with Steve Thewis from Studio Infinity helped to take care of the family, before the fluffy clan were rehomed in a nearby river.

Phil said: “They were in the weeds and undergrowth. The mum would be able to fly out from their location, but the babies couldn’t!

“On Friday morning my wife and grandchildren caught ten ducklings and we took them past Leighton Middle School and down to Bridge Street to release them into the river.

“The mum led the way; there were people watching me walk down the high street with her. It was quite amazing from that point of view - not something you see everyday.”

The ducklings and their mother.

The ducklings and their mother.

Phil says that the female mallard had chosen to nest on land south of the high street last year, and that the same rescue had had to take place with five ducklings.

In 2018, the RSPCA had been called but were unable to come out, so this year Phil, Steve, and co decided to step in again. However, Phil advises that you should always call an animal or bird charity before intervening with wildlife.

Steve added: "Last year was funnier, as we put some water out for them [where they were nesting] and watched them jumping in and swimming around! But they had been trying to climb up some stairs onto the shop roofs. We thought, let's get them out of here and keep them safe."