As I was parking my car early on Friday morning I heard a flapping sound nearby, looked over the wall of a delapidated factory and found myself staring at about six white storks and their nests, right in the middle of the Silves town centre!
The sighting of these birds reminded me fondly of when I was a child growing up in a suburb of Salisbury (now Harare).
Storks (black storks, I think) were frequent visitors to the grassy plots next to our house, but they disappeared when those plots were built up.
Did you know that in 2000 a stork's nest got tangled in power lines and caused a blackout all over Lisbon and southern Portugal? No? Well I didn't either, I was living in the north of the country then!
Now protected and off the endangered list, they continue to make their enormous nests in high places - on the top of electricity pylons and even on chimneys and palm trees in the centre of this Algarve town.
How could I have been going into Silves quite often for almost 3 years and have only seen them now?