Parnell Baths flounder drop: Investigations underway

They say it's lucky if a bird poos on your head, so what does it mean if a fish lands on one? 

An Auckland swimmer had an unusual experience at Auckland's Parnell Baths while sitting in the spa pool.

He was hit in the face by a fish that appeared to have fallen from the sky. 

"All of a sudden I got a big whack in the face [and] wondered what was going on," Russell Hogg told Newshub.

"I thought someone had jumped in the pool or someone had thrown something at my head. I stuck my hand into the bottom of the pool and pulled out a big flounder flapping around."

Mr Hogg says he thought he knew what had happened. 

"I thought, 'Wow what's going on here?' but I immediately thought a bird must have dropped it from the sky."

He could be right. If this is what happened, the likely flight path means the bird flew in from the sea and over the baths where Mr Hogg was sitting in the spa. It then lost its grip on the fish and flew off.  

Seagulls are regularly spotted flying over the baths, but a different bird is more likely to be the culprit. 

"In New Zealand it's more likely to be a black shag that feeds on flounder," says Dr Richard Holdaway, director of Palaecol Research Limited. 

It is possible the fish could have been thrown from a nearby footbridge or the cliff above, but the man who was hit by the fish rules that out.   

"I think the odds are pretty slim because it's quite a distance from the cliff to the pool, and it definitely came straight down and hit me in the face - bang and slap on the water. So I'm pretty sure it was a big bird." 

Community Leisure Management, who operates the baths, says it will investigate the incident and will be reviewing any footage it may have to help determine where the fish came from.