Even I can hear the voice, that loud but soothing purr purr. They perch and purr in the trees above La Bruyere, (above) in Pays de Loire, France. The French word catches the sound beautifully: La Tourtourelle. We call them Turtle Doves and they are now on the Red List in Britain. I have seen glimpses – they seem to have a distinctive fluttering flight style which enables them to dodge from tree to tree in just the time it takes for me to miss the shot. This is hardly surprising since the shot is likely to be lead in France.
I am staying here with my daughter Hannah and her partner Dave, here resting from their work running https://www.hannahturner.co.uk/Yesterday evening and this morning I watched from the pop-up hide I had brought with me: This corner of the mini-estate looked suitable and crouching on a spine wrenching three-legged stool with my camera and big lens I managed to get some rather distant pictures of a dove, well OK, pigeon, and closer, the even more common Chaffinch. Yesterday I spotted two deer – Roe I think, but need to see more of them to be sure. Today, on the way back past Dave’s latest car… I saw this fine fellow crouching against the light on a tree just outside the house. He has no ear tufts so is probably a juvenile.
So, Turtle Dove still to find, but in the low evening light I went round the estate: house, two barns, a cottage and 6.5 acres of long grass, trees, a lake and the beginnings of a garden – all bought for the price of an ex-council house in England. This is what it looks like: