Schoolchildren were joined by an unexpected visitor while playing tennis.
A cockatiel descended on the heads and shoulders of Year Nine pupils at Henbury School, on Station Road, at around 12pm on June 19.
Larry, a grey and yellow bird originally from Australia, had escaped from his owner Eva Millauer, three miles away in Seamills, on the evening of June 16.
Henbury School teacher Lydia Greenwood said: “He was keeping himself entertained by landing on pupils’ heads in the PE lesson. He is not a shy bird.
“The kids stood still while the bird went from head to head, and shoulder to shoulder, having a wonderful time. They were loving it.
“He was playing a game. Any time I tried to pick him up he would go to someone else’s head.”
How he was rescued
One pupil Harry Leader, 14, had an affinity with the bird and kept him on his head so Ms Greenwood could pick him up and put him in a cardboard box.
She and Harry then took the bird to Viking Vets, also on Station Road. Its vet nurse Chloe Haynes had seen a Facebook appeal for Larry from Ms Millauer and was able to return him.
Ms Greenwood said budgie owner Harry is a “lovely lad” who cares about animals.
“He has been in before to tell me about a pigeon with a broken wing,” she added.
Asked what he thought when he saw Larry, Harry said: “It was funny. My thought was to get it.”
He added that he enjoyed playing with the cockatiel and would like one of his own.
“I might ask for one at Christmas,” he said.
Ms Haynes described the bird as “very tired” after three nights in the wild.
“We gave him some seeds,” she said. “I think he enjoyed his adventure.”
Ms Haynes described Ms Millauer, 47, as “ecstatic” when she heard Larry had been rescued.
The pet owner said: “It was amazing. I couldn’t believe it.
“I had been trying to send Larry telepathic messages, to land on someone nice. Everything is connected.”
Ms Millauer, who adopted Larry just before last Christmas, said she did not wish to go into detail about how he came to fly away.
“He got scared and accidentally escaped,” she said.
“He didn’t mean to. He was very scared. Just going from the living room to the kitchen is a big deal for him.”
Larry enjoyed a big lunch after his return home and is back with animal lover Ms Millauer’s other pets.
She says he “gets on well” with the two dogs, two rabbits, guinea pig and other cockatiel, who is his partner.