Sidney the cygnet swaps a nest for life on a boat in St Ives

Sidney the cygnet

Sidney the cygnet - Credit: Archant

Sidney the cygnet is getting used to swanning about in a boat after being rescued from a near certain death at a boatyard St Ives.

Sidney the cygnet helps Rob Adamson navigate

Sidney the cygnet helps Rob Adamson navigate - Credit: Archant

He has been adopted by builder Rob Adamson, who lives on a narrowboat at Jones Boatyard, and who has been taking him to work, Tesco and the pub, concealed inside his jacket.

Rob, 39, said: “He knows who I am and as long as he can see me he is happy but if I go out of sight he does chirp on a little bit while he is waiting for me to come back.

“It is a bit like looking after a puppy or a baby.”

Orphaned Sidney was spotted in long grass at the boatyard by Geoff Ingle, who using a ride-on mower. No parent birds were in sight and another dead cygnet was found nearby. Sidney had a wound on his neck and it is thought a predator must have attacked them.

Sidney thec cygnet at rest

Sidney thec cygnet at rest - Credit: Archant

They took advice from the RSPB and an animal rescue centre and wildlife lover Rob immediately stepped in, fearing Sidney would have to be put down, and decided to rehome him on his boat until he can be released into the wild when he is old enough.

Rob feeds the young bird on special swan food and Sidney is also partial to garden peas in water.

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“He is full of beans but he does tend to wake up at four or five o’clock in the morning when it starts to get light outside,” said Rob. “I give him a bit of a cuddle and he is quiet for a while. Swans do sleep quite a bit.”

Rob, who is working on a marina extension at the boatyard, said: “I do take him to work with me and we do go to the pub and Tesco together.

Sidney the cygnet in the office

Sidney the cygnet in the office - Credit: Archant

“It is surprising how long you can keep him in your jacket before anybody notices.”

Sidney has been out on boats, including a kayak, learning about the waterway.

Rob is trying to work out how keep Sidney’s feathers oiled to prevent him becoming waterlogged, which his parents would have done automatically, and rubbing him with oily sheep’s wool may be the answer.

He said that having the boat meant he may be able to see Sidney after he is released and he hoped the bird will still recognise him.

Rob has temporarily cared for a hedgehog and a jay in the past - but would really like to look after a kingfisher, his favourite bird.