Britain's smallest wild bird, the goldcrest, is making a comeback with the population reaching its highest level for 15 years. Between 2007 and 2008 the breeding population increased by over a quarter - a significant change - although it remains to be seen weather the cold winter of 2008/09 will reverse this trend The creature weighs less than a quarter of an ounce - about the same as a 20p piece - and grows to only three inches long. And it is as elusive as it is tiny - venturing into gardens in search of food only in very cold weather. But the latest results from the Breeding Bird Survey show they should be easier to spot in future as there are now an estimated 1.5 million of them - the best results for the goldcrest since the annual study began in 1994. The run of mild winters up to 2008 have helped more of the insect-eating bird to go on to breed the following spring. Between 2007 and 2008 the breeding population increased by over a quarter - a significant change - although it remains to be seen weather the cold winter of 2008/09 will reverse this trend. Survey organiser Kate Risely, of the British Trust for Ornithology, said: "With the declines in some of our summer migrants featuring in the press recently, it is great to be able to report some good news, particularly when it concerns some of our most charismatic birds. "The number of goldcrests can crash in very cold winters because they are too small to survive but they recover very quickly when the weather is better because they have a very high breeding rate. "They are easier to hear than see because they tend to stay high up at the top of conifers but have a very distinctive high-pitched call which sounds like a squeaky wheel. "Some birdwatchers say they know they are getting old when they can no longer hear the song of the goldcrest. It gets its name from the yellow stripe down its black head. Their bodies are mainly green. They are very pretty birds. "It is good to have so many of them back although we are waiting to see the results of this year's survey to see how badly last winter affected them."