Just a few days before we left Portugal in April we spied a heronry of cattle egrets on the wild patch of ground behind the apartments. It had been a very wet April and so small lakes had appeared. Perfect for Cattle Egrets!
Their Portuguese name is Garça-boieira, and their scientific name is Bubulcus ibis. You may have also heard them called cow crane or even elephant bird from their trait of following animals and removing insects and ticks from them.
I was so delighted by seeing the beginnings of their glorious summer plumage I completely failed to take a photograph of the whole heronry!
Still as you can see I did manage to capture two in one shot and also took a rather lovely one of the meadow grasses, and a couple of photographs of another Egret species as well as a few other birds who were taking advantage of the water and insects. There would have been more, but it was at this point I realised the insects were taking advantage of us so we returned rapidly to the apartment!