Tiny Chinese bird claimed by Gloucestershire postman
A tiny exotic bird that was being cared for by a sanctuary after it was found in a Gloucestershire garden has been claimed by the village postman.
The Chinese painted quail was taken to Birdland by Julie Rogers after she stopped four cats attacking it opposite her home in Bourton-on-the-Water.
Unbeknown to Ms Rogers, who works in the village post office, it belonged to her colleague postman Les Grant.
Mr Grant said he had only had the bird for about three days before it escaped.'Petrified'
The bird went missing in early July and was handed in to the Birdland sanctuary at the beginning of August.
Julie Rogers said she and Mr Grant "have known each other for years" but it "didn't click" that he owned the bird as he had recently been off work.
She said that at first she did not think the bird, which is slightly bigger than a human hand, would survive.
Ms Rogers said: "I picked it up and it was petrified. My son kept it in his bedroom for two weeks and then it started calling.
"I realised we couldn't keep it but I knew we couldn't release it because it wasn't an ordinary bird. My son works in the cafe at Birdland so we took it there."
Mr Grant said he had been off work recovering from an operation and read about a missing quail being cared for at the sanctuary.'Squeaky noise'
He said: "I was pretty sure it was mine. It escaped when I was feeding it. I'd only had it a few days.
"I opened the cage door to feed it and it suddenly took off. They can fly a little bit but not very far so I knew it had to be close by.
"I took a bird net out in case I found it - they make a distinct high squeaky noise. I know there's a lot of cats round here so I didn't expect it to survive."
Mr Grant said he had been surprised to learn that Julie Rogers had found it.
He said: "It's quite ironic really as she knew I had birds. But I hadn't been at work otherwise she might have said something."
He said the male bird, which is part of a pair is "perfectly all right" now, while the female is "much happier".
Also known as the king quail, the Chinese painted quail is a member of the pheasant family and is a popular game bird prized for the flavour of its meat.