by Annette Hinkle
Last Sunday morning near the Sag Harbor windmill, Sag Harbor’s Peter Marcelle noticed a mother duck with four newborn ducklings making their way across the road from Superica toward Windmill Beach.
After successfully navigating the roadway, mama hopped up onto the curb near the beach. The four ducklings, however, were so tiny that when they waddled over the sewer grating in the roadway by the curb, Marcelle said he saw them disappear, one after the other, through the holes of the grate.
“The mother was going ‘quack, quack’ down at the grate, and the little ‘quack quacks’ were coming back up from below,” explained an animated Marcelle later Sunday while sharing iPhone photos from the ordeal.
Luckily, Marcelle thought quick. He headed over to the Sag Harbor police station and officers returned with him to help — as did a number of volunteer firefighters who happened to be getting coffee nearby at the 7-Eleven.
Marcelle reports the grating was removed and a volunteer sent down to retrieve the ducklings. He adds it took several attempts to snag the frightened ducklings, as each time hands reached for them, they headed further into the sewer back toward the Superica side of the road where another volunteer was stationed to intercept them.
In the end, mother and babies were reunited and they continued on their way, settling down on the beach to recover.