My garden blackbird that has sung almost continuously from dawn to dusk since February is the most melodious I've ever heard, with a wide range of phrases and partly compensates for a lack of songthrushes (pictured)

Indeed, blackbirds are enjoying an excellent year everywhere.

As the nesting season draws to a close, birdsong will gradually fade away. As the summer moult begins and with flight feathers  less efficient, birds tend to keep quiet and skulk away in the shrubbery.

Recently I've been replaying some audio tapes of birdsong that I recorded twenty years ago. What is striking is how many of those birds, common two decades back have declined.

Songthrush, greenfinch, skylark, chaffinch and willow warbler are fewer as are starlings, house sparrows, house martins and swifts.

However, on a positive note, in addition to blackbirds, robins, the tit family, goldcrests and jackdaws are faring well.

But the star of the show is the colourful goldfinch whose population has rocketed over the past three years. No doubt an increase in people feeding nyger seed in gardens has been a key factor in their abundance.

One species in particular that I didn't record twenty years ago because there were fewer about is now escalating out of control and becoming a real pest.

Any Guesses ? Yes, the rose-ringed parakeet of course. Their frightful noisy yelping in local parks inhibits other birdsong and being early nesters, they have taken over tree holes of native species thus denying them access. Pests indeed!