We weren’t surprised to get a call reporting a duck with ducklings trapped in a car park. It happens all the time.

Mother duck finds a shrubbery where she can build her nest and incubate her eggs without being seen. Sometimes she may fly out to feed and drink, but mostly she sits tight, patiently waiting 28 days for her family to hatch.

The next stage can be a problem. While mum can fly in and out of the car park the ducklings must walk.

Mum needs to lead them to water where they will eat small invertebrates.

After the ducklings have been swimming, mum will call them all together and they will snuggle under her feathers to dry off and keep warm. An hour or so later they will be hungry again.

Ducks can walk out of most car parks, and although there may be hazards like traffic and people, if they choose to move in the early hours of the day they can reach water safely.

The car park in Fairlie was different. The vehicle entrance was a steep tunnel that led off the main road. The car park was fenced. This duck and ducklings really were trapped.

We managed to walk the family into the small room where the bins were stored.

Mum panicked a bit when we closed the door, but she settled down, and soon we had six fluffy ducklings in one box and mum in another. They were reunited when we returned to Hessilhead.