St Ives: 'Unluckiest' swan becomes a mum after raft rescue

  • Published
Media caption,

The swan had failed to become a mother for ten years due to floods and foxes

A man who built a raft to save a swan's nest of eggs said he was "over the moon" to watch her become a mother for the first time.

Rob Adamson said he had kept an eye on the swan for 10 years in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, and had seen her eggs destroyed by floods and foxes.

He built a raft at Jones Boatyard, where he lives and works, to save the nest as water levels rose last Friday.

All eight of the baby cygnets had since hatched, he said.

Mr Adamson said she had previously been "the unluckiest swan" and he was "determined" to make sure her babies survived this time.

Image source, Rob Adamson
Image caption,
Rob released an abandoned cygnet he raised into the wild, but the male bird kept returning

"I have been pacing around the marina like an expectant dad for the last week," he said.

"When I saw them start to hatch I was so happy, I was bouncing around like a kid at Christmas. It's like winning the lottery."

Image source, Jones Boatyard
Image caption,
The nest of eight eggs was saved when Mr Adamson moved it on to the raft
Image source, Rob Adamson
Image caption,
The swan and her eight babies later took to the water

Mr Adamson, 42, who lives on a narrowboat at the boatyard off the River Great Ouse, built a fence to keep foxes out and made the raft in the dark when he noticed the water was lapping around the swan's nest.

Image source, Rob Adamson
Image caption,
All eight of the eggs hatched

He said: "You're not supposed to interfere, but it had got to the point where they were all going to die.

"I couldn't go to bed knowing that. I knew I would regret it if I didn't do anything to save them."

Mr Adamson, known locally as "the swan man", previously raised an abandoned cygnet called Sid and tried to release him into the wild, but he kept coming back.

Image source, Rob Adamson
Image caption,
Rob Adamson lives and works at a marina, where he hand-reared Sid the cygnet

"After Sid, I've got a special place in my heart for swans and I have been watching this pair fail for the last 10 years," he said.

"This is why I am here, living on the water. I'm in dreamland with all the wildlife. I wouldn't swap my boat for a £10m house."

Image source, Rob Adamson
Image caption,
One of the eight newly hatched cygnets

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