THE mystery appearance of a flock of dead birds in the middle of a busy road has left Ladybridge residents baffled.
Between 20 and 30 dead starlings appeared in Beaumont Road, near the Britannia Hotel, on Sunday afternoon.
Eyewitnesses reported hearing a loud bang before finding the birds in an "X-Files-like" experience, as if they had “fallen from the sky”.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has said it is unlikely they flew into a poisonous air trail as their injuries would be less uniform.
A spokesman said the low-flying birds, which tend to travel in a tight flock, could have been hit by a vehicle or been confused or dazzled and flown into one.
Craig Clarkson, aged 39, who was in Beaumont Road shortly after the birds first appeared, said there were nearly 100 of them, with some lying still alive in the road.
The RSPB spokesman said: “I have heard of a previous discovery of a group of dead starlings, and it was never really established how they got there.
"The most likely reason is that they confused and flew into something, or were dazzled.
“Or they may have been hit by a lorry at speed as they were cutting across the road. They do fly low enough for that.”
Mr Clarkson added: “A guy told us he had heard a loud bang and then found these birds outside.
“It was really weird, like something out of the X-Files.”
Kayleigh Knott, from Farnworth, who was visiting a friend in the area, said: “I’ve heard of things like this happening elsewhere and they’ve never found an explanation.
“This is just so unusual and people need to know why this has happened.”