At this festive time, with the echo of two Turtle Doves ringing in our collective ears, it gives me great pleasure to announce that the Inglorious Bustards have joined the Dove Step fold. They are uniquely placed at the start of our journey to physically support by way of accommodation and logistics. This is a real boost and greatly assists in somewhat reducing stress as we ease into Spanish life and the 25+ mile walking days that await.
The Inglorious Bs so are suitably sensitive to their surroundings, both natural and urban, that we feel they are a natural fit for our efforts. We seek to cover – no, conqueror – Spain in its entirety, leaving nothing but footprints and ideally ingratiating ourselves with the locals. Having local contacts on-the-ground will facilitate this from the offset.
We are, after all, bird watchers; the very reason we find ourselves so hellbent on enduring for Turtle Doves is our appreciation of them. We know the Bustards; Ms Nicki Williamson and Squire Simon Tonkin share our appreciation – a fact evidenced by their work for the RSPB covering much of their working lives. Both were involved, just like the Dove Step team, from the very outset of Operation Turtle Dove. The Inglorious Bs had the following to say on the natural pairing with Dove Step:
‘Turtle Dove conservation is something very close to our hearts, and we are thrilled to be able to support Jonny and the team’s superhuman efforts to fundraise for this iconic but desperately imperilled bird.
Based, as we are, in the Straits of Gibraltar, we find ourselves at an avian migratory hub, a constant reminder of the dangerous journey undertaken by Turtle Doves on top of all the threats they face at both ends of the flyway’.
We are delighted to have been taken under the wing of the Inglorious Bustards and equally excited to be joining them in Spain in a little over a month’s time. Dove Step 3 will be the best we can make it – our longest, hardest and most gruelling effort to date. We are delighted that the Inglorious Bs are now part of that journey.