It was a police rescue with a difference yesterday as the derring-do of two of Dunedin's finest saved the day for a family of ducks.

Calls to police came in about noon of a mother and her ducklings waddling along the barrier of a busy southbound lane on State Highway 1 by Green Island.

Police sped to the scene of the potential recipe for disaster in a patrol car with flashing lights and siren.

Dunedin Constables Chris Parsons (with beard) and Matt Sheat use their hats to corral a family of ducks that strayed on to State Highway 1 by Green Island yesterday. Photo / Stephen Jaquiery
Dunedin Constables Chris Parsons (with beard) and Matt Sheat use their hats to corral a family of ducks that strayed on to State Highway 1 by Green Island yesterday. Photo / Stephen Jaquiery

Constables Chris Parsons and Matt Sheat, helped by members of the public, went about their work as cars swept by alarmingly close to the tiny creatures.

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Traffic was stopped and one duckling encouraged into a policeman's cap, but it showed remarkable agility and bolted back on to the road.

The mother duck took flight, but settled off the highway shortly after.

After a period in which the ducklings scattered in all directions across the road, they were encouraged safely off the side of the highway.