These gorgeous birds are becoming increasingly scarce and I have found only very few this year. They still nest in one or two places in Hertfordshire and at Fowlmere in Cambridgeshire where I sometimes visit. I have seen them on the Norfolk coast and I was inspired to do some sketching with a view to presenting a finished watercolour to the RSPB in order to raise money for their appeal (operation Turtle Dove). I hope to do this soon with the co-operation of the staff at Rye Meads?(more on this later). I can not imagine the british countryside without the soft purring of Turtle Doves and if we were to lose this bird it would be a tragedy. I visited Pensthorpe in Norfolk recently where there is a captive breeding program and was immediately transported back to my childhood and the seemingly endless summer days during school holidays. Its like the old saying 'you don't know what you've got till its gone?' Lets make sure this never happens?