Whilst many people where on their way to parties and night clubs volunteer rescuers Trevor Weeks and Tony Neads from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) were being called out by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service to the B&Q Warehouse in Newhaven, East Sussex at 8pm.
Whilst party goers were raising the rafters in pubs and clubs a pheasent decided to have its own party inside the B&Q warehouse and roost up in the rafters. Members of Newhaven Fire and Rescue Service were called out by B&Q staff and spent about an hour trying to catch the bird which would just fly from one beam to another every time they tried to catch it. After a while they called in volunteers from East Sussex WRAS to help.
Rescuers knew they had to catch the bird or it would have set off the alarms during the night, so rescuers knew they had to catch the bird and it could not be left.
"On my arrival my colleague Tony Neads was already present along with Newhaven Fire Brigade" said WRAS founder Trevor Weeks, "the pheasant was about 20-30 ft up in the air roosting on a beam. After a bit head scratching I realised that there was going to be only one way to get this pheasant down and it was not going to be easy for us or the pheasant!"
A couple of firemen armed themselves with a thermal vision camera and a long piece of timber. WRAS rescuers Tony and Trevor armed themselves with nets. A ladder was then manuovered into place beneath the bird. All the lights were then switched off in the store blunging both bird and rescuers into pitch black darkness. The long piece of timber was used then used to disturb the pheasant into flying in the dark, however the fireman could not see the pheasant so the thermal image camera was used to locate the bird.
"The pheasant had no choice but to fly from the beam. Unable to see the other perches nor beams and after hitting a couple of the hanging lightweight banners the pheasant was unable to sustain its high and after a few seconds came down into one of the isles" said Trevor, "we could not just turn the lights on or the pheasant would just fly back up to the beams again, so the firemen used the thermal image camera to search for the bird down the isles."
Rescuers eventually found the pheasant clutching to the top shelf of one of the paint isles wishing he was outside painting the town red!
The pheasant was taken back to WRAS's Casualty Care Unit where it was bedded down for the night. The pheasant is due to be released Sunday morning at about 11am in the nature reserve behind B&Q at Newhaven.
"This has been a brilliant rescue" said Trevor, "we could not have asked for a nicer bunch of people to work with on this rescue from both B&Q or the Fire and Rescue Service."
The pheasant has not been released due to the snowy weather on Sunday. The pheasant will be released later in the week once the weather changes. Anyone wanting to be present for the release can contact Trevor Weeks for further details on 07931 523958.