As summer slowly merges into autumn, many subtle changes are taking place in the natural world.

After spending a few weeks skulking in shrubbery to avoid predators as they moult and powers of flight are restricted, birds are now showing themselves and becoming more vocal.

For example, robins (pictured) are voicing their rather melancholy territorial song which they will sing throughout winter. They are one of the very few species where both sexes sing, so it's hard for us to tell the difference as both are alike

Birds now begin trading places. Swallows and martins will soon fly south as will warblers while we can look forward to welcoming redwings and fieldfares from Scandinavia.

Five of our butterflies, queen wasps and bees and many insects are now entering hibernation but if the weather remains mild, they may venture out and top up energy reserves by imbibing nectar from the few remaining plants and flowers. Ivy blossom is one of these then in late autumn the black berries are eaten by birds while the larvae of the holly blue butterfly feed upon the leaves.

One of my favourite flowers is the Michaelmas daisy so welcome at this time of year. Non-native, it was introduced from North America many years ago and in now naturalised everywhere.

Fish become less active and seek deep water so as leaves begin to fall wildlife is battening down the hatches in preparation for winter.