WHEN we arrived here in 2006, the bird life was conspicuous by its absence – indeed wildlife as a whole was non-existent.
Building was continuing unabated and it was not conducive to our little furry and feathered friends who had obviously scarpered to quieter and greener surroundings.
Then construction came to a shuddering halt and on the tracts of land previously earmarked for new houses – in some cases where infrastructure had commenced and been abandoned – Peter Rabbit and his pals started to arrive.
It wasn’t Watership Down, but it was good enough for the bunnies.
Sparrows were the first birds to re-colonise this area, which is expected from these resourceful little blokes; then a few wagtails, and more recently families of blackbirds. There is a Hoopoe or two, finches and – because of the rabbit population – hawks are quite a common sight.
But thanks to the erratic collection of rubbish and green waste from our streets, and the vigorous growth of shrubs through the cracks in the kerbs, the wildlife has increased tremendously. Hoorah!
Even when the assortment of refuse bins have been emptied, the overflow that has, by necessity, been left on the roadside is only partially shovelled up and removed.
This leaves an assortment of detritus and muck that is a natural habitat for Periplaneta americana (American cockroach) which can be seen in greater and greater numbers as the holiday season progresses and are a common sight whilst walking home from local hostelries.
Obviously many of the holiday- makers that choose to spend their time here in Orihuela Costa, are keen naturalists judging by the way they strategically place their bags of rubbish and food scraps at random locations along the byways of the area, in order to attract these elusive creatures.
But most exciting of all are the sightings recently of that furry rogue, the brown rat. Oh joy!
Thank you Orihuela Costa town hall and thank you tourists.
If it goes on like this, David Attenborough himself will be paying us a visit.