An escaped parrot led its owner on a three-day search around Westbury this week before it was finally rescued in the grounds of the Army officer training centre at Leighton House.

Gromit, an Indian ring-necked parakeet, flew out of Pauline Penny’s Chalford home at lunchtime on Sunday when she took him out of his cage for a bath.

Mrs Penny, 43, said the bird, which she was given by a friend two years ago, was frightened when she tripped, and flew from her shoulder out an open window.

“He is normally fine on my shoulder, but he must have been startled,” she said.

“I went across to Laverton Road with a cage to try and find him. I’m sure everyone who saw me there must have thought I was crazy.

“I saw him fly into the grounds of Leighton House when it was getting dark, so I got permission to go and look round on Monday.”

Mrs Penny was joined in her search of the grounds by Colour Sergeant Charlie Lawrence, who spotted the bird by the medical centre that afternoon.

The pair tried to tempt the bird down with treats and toys but he wouldn’t budge.

“I think he was frightened, there were a lot of other birds about,” said Mrs Penny.

“I cried my heart out when I got home that night. We found him in a tree the next morning and Sgt Lawrence kindly called out a couple of tree surgeons to climb it.”

The tree surgeons, John Limbrick and Jim Tyson from OCS in Yeovil, had the bird safely down to the ground within an hour, although one got a nip on the hand for his trouble.

Sgt Lawrence said it was the first time he had rescued a parrot. “I have had to deal with drunk soldiers and suspicious incidents but nothing like this before,” he said.

“It is a big site but I thought we should give it a go.

“A lot of the officers came over to have a look wondering what all the fuss was about.

“There was a big cheer when they finally got him down.”

Mrs Penny said: “I want to thank Sgt Lawrence, the tree surgeons and everyone who helped rescue Gromit, they were all brilliant, and my boss at Securitas who very kindly let me take time off to look for him.”