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Apparently, a jovial is one of the traditional collective nouns for the Dunnock (Prunella modularis). Now don’t get me wrong, I love these little brown birds, I really do, but jovial is not an adjective I would normally use to describe them.

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Indeed, I can empathise with the sarcasm of this birder’s comments: ‘Any birdwatcher worth his salt knows of the joy brought about by watching a dull brown bird dullishly dull about in a dull shrub. Indeed, I find myself incredibly jovial every time I think I’ve seen a good bird and it turns out to be a dunnock.’

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However, while this little fledgling didn’t look anything like jovial, it certainly did make me smile. And, though my wander around Cosmeston produced some nice migrating birds, the highlight of my Monday was watching this little dumpling hopping along the path in front of me.

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