Commuters trying to get home were left in a flap when traffic came to a standstill after a suspected ostrich wandered on to the road.
The long-necked bird was spotted walking between cars on the A12 in Colchester at around 5.30pm.
Footage shows people trying to shoo the bird off the road and into the safety of the grassy verge.
Essex Police attended alongside Highways England staff and located the bird at around 7pm between junctions 27 and 28.
The scene closely mirrored the escape of Colin, a runaway rhea that was initially reported to be an ostrich, who caused havoc on the nearby A133 in Elmstead last year.
It is not known where Thursday’s mystery bird, which is also thought to be an ostrich or a rhea, came from or how it got on to the road.
Grace Hoffman, a student who snapped a short film of the bird, told the Press Association: “There was suddenly standstill traffic and I pulled to a stop.
“When I looked forward…an ostrich was just walking down the side of the road.
“A couple people got out and helped but I think it was contained safely.”
Earlier this year, a rhea went on the run in south Oxfordshire after escaping from a farm.
Thames Valley Police said the bird is named Chris Rhea in a nod to the Driving Home For Christmas singer.
A single police crew was called to locate the bird in south Oxfordshire, which was seen sprinting across fields in the Sonning Common area.
Rheas are flightless birds, which can grow up to 1.7m tall (67in), are native to South America and are a distant relative of the ostrich and the emu.
(c) Sky News 2019: ‘Ostrich’ causes traffic chaos after crossing A12 in Essex