A budgie found floating half a mile out to sea after
he escaped from his aviary has been reunited
with its owner five days later.

In a chance encounter the one year-old bird was
found by a dive boat - half a mile out to sea off
the coast of Brixham, Devon, by scuba
diver Cathy Jackman.

Unknown to his owner, Mike Peel, 64, the bedraggled bird,
who had been named "Captain" by his rescuers, was
plucked from the water and taken
to an RSPCA centre.

Though grandfather-of-12 Mr Peel, had lost some birds
on Saturday it was not until he saw a picture of the
normal grey budgie in his local newspaper on
Wednesday - his birthday - that he
realised it was his.

The retired former cleaning business owner from Brixham,
said that he had resigned himself to the loss of several
birds that escaped from an aviary at the bottom of his
garden after he left their enclosure unlocked
on Saturday as he went for lunch.

"It's amazing," he said. "I really didn't expect to see
it again, I really didn't. I've never received one
back and I don't know anyone that has."

Mr Peel, who keeps about 140 birds at his home, which
is around two miles from where the bird was found
at sea the same day, breeds and shows budgies
and is chairman of the
Torbay Budgerigar
and Foreign Birds Society.

He said that Captain, who he had since he
was a chick, was not a high enough standard
to show, but was a breeding bird.

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