Customers at a busy pub had a surprise drinking companion last night – a trapped starling which they soon nicknamed ‘Jim Beam’.
Rescuers from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service were called out to the Brewers Fayre pub called The Drove in Newhaven to rescue the bird.
All evening, the plucky bird was seen flying near the windows looking for a way out and from beam to beam in the rafters, which was how the bird got its nickname.
Rescuers arrived on the scene about 9.15pm. Long poles and nets were initially used to catch the bird, but the beams in the ceiling restricted the movement of the nets.
Kathy Martyn, the ambulance service’s trustee and senior rescuer, said: “After a short fly round the starling disappeared; we couldn’t understand where it had gone. Our net heads were used to try and disturb the bird if it was on top of the beams but the starling never appeared. We were scratching our heads wondering where it had gone.
“Ladders from the ambulance had to be used to reach up to the ceiling so Trevor could climb up and check.”
Trevor Weeks, founder of the charity, said: “When I reached the top of the ladder I couldn’t see the starling anywhere, I was perplexed but then discovered a narrow gap at the top where the beams meet, which the starling had managed to get inside. The gap was very small, too small for my hand to fit inside.”
Despite all their specialist equipment, the best tool for the job happened to be a long-handled ice cream spoon from the pub restaurant, which was used to encourage the bird to come out.
Jim was then checked over and as it was light enough outside, rescuers decided to release the bird straight away.
Speaking after the rescue, Kathy said: “Some great team work from everyone tonight, we certainly have an amazing team of rescuers.
“We hope Jim Beam the starling doesn’t go back inside looking for any more spirits”.