Survival of the loudest

Diverse, colourful, numerous and often raucous, the birds of the Southern Highlands seem to be thriving. But Peter Meredith finds out that appearances can be deceptive. About three years ago I had the impression something odd was happening in my shrubby Bowral garden. The bird population, always a source of delight to my family, seemed to be changing. It was a gradual, barely perceptible shift, but you could spot it if you kept your eyes open.