We all have ideas about how we should interact with nature and the environment. Some of us can protect animals without getting in their way and bonding with them. Rob Adamson is one such wildlife enthusiast in St Ives, England, whose knowledge seems to have finally paid off.

Rob has observed for almost ten years as a swan’s eggs are constantly stolen by foxes or removed by floods at Jones Boatyard, where he lives and works. He could not have allowed it to happen once more when the Great Ouse River started to flood again this year. Rob decided to take matters into his own hands and rescue the swan’s eggs from the rising water. The two swans were appreciative of his gesture.

This swan's eggs were saved from the flood by the raft.

Image: Jones Boatyard | Facebook

Somehow, he felt accountable. Rob felt pity for the mother swan’s eggs after all those years. She is the unluckiest of the swans, so I had to ensure their survival. He knew he should leave wildlife alone but couldn’t help himself this time.


He said, “You’re not supposed to get involved, but it had gotten to the point where they were all going to die. He was troubled by the idea. Rob admitted, “I couldn’t sleep knowing that.”  I knew I would regret it if I didn’t do anything to save them.”

Rob noted that “the dad was also watching, but neither of them attacked me,” which was fortunate because the swans weren’t angry when he approached. I think they understood it was their best opportunity, he continued.

Image: Jones Boatyard | Facebook

Rob Adamson, 42, keeps his narrow boat off the Great Ouse. One late night, he noticed that the water had risen significantly and was steadily approaching the location of the swan’s nest. He entered the water with a raft that he had hurriedly constructed in the dark without wasting more time.

The resting mother swan and all nine of the swan’s eggs were then miraculously moved by Rob onto the more sturdy platform he had constructed. Even a length of rope was linked to the raft so it could be moved if necessary.

The fact that the two swans accepted Rob’s help without antagonism was astonishing. Surprisingly, they trusted him and didn’t perceive him as a threat because swans are known to be territorial and protective when nesting.

Image: Jones Boatyard | Facebook

“The swan man” saved the day.

The “swan man” came to the rescue. In the past, Rob, who quickly earned the nickname “the swan guy” among the villagers, had raised a stray cygnet he called Sid. He and Sid were very close, and he later remarked, “After Sid, I’ve got a special place in my heart for swans.”

For the past ten years, Rob says, “I’ve been watching this pair fail.” He claimed he “knocked up a fence to keep the foxes out” out of concern for them. I want them to succeed this time, Rob insisted. He anticipates the swans’ eggs hatching soon and feels responsible for the swans. “I live on the water because of this. I’m in a dream world filled with animals, remarked Rob. He was satisfied and frank, saying, “I wouldn’t trade my yacht for a £10 million mansion.”

Rob Adamson, BBC News

The swan's eggs are now happily protected.

Image: Jones Boatyard | Facebook

Locals in the vicinity were grateful for Rob’s efforts and surprised by the Great Ouse’s rising water levels. The Jones Boatyard thanked him and praised his actions on Facebook. Rob demonstrated how a tiny act of compassion could significantly influence an animal’s life.

It requires a particular level of awareness to watch out for others in times of trouble. We can all appreciate his relationship with Sid the cygnet and how he guarded the swan’s eggs.

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