The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.


Sunday Lunch

Sunday lunch is poking around amongst the rocks and plants under the bird feeders.

At last the birds are coming back to our garden. Mr Furlong and I have worked hard recently to add¬†flutter cover for birds since we¬† stupidly cut it all down in an attempt to make our garden ‘neat’.

It was so neat, any self respecting birds avoided it and settled in other people’s gardens instead. In a month or so, the creepers will be up covering the new arch and the wire fence,  now exposed, will fill with Clematis, Jasmin and Ornamental Hopps.

Bird paradise.

But this morning Sunday Lunch is here.

There is Sunday Lunch A and Sunday Lunch B. They are a couple. Sunday Lunch A, is HUGE! He would make a delicious meal for two.

Perfect for our Sunday Lunch.

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Rising sun, August moon

I’m not sure how on earth the two bird feeders in our garden got their names. It was possibly because they look slightly oriental. Like little Pagodas.

Mr Furlong made them.

We call them ‘the Teahouses’ of the Rising Sun and the August Moon. We can notify each other by yelling “Look in the August Moon!” or ” There’s a mouse in the Rising Sun!”. They are very specially designed by a genius.

Mr Furlong is the genius. They have roofs we can open to fill the food trays on the floor within. The roofs are supported by a collonade of dowels spaced apart in the exact dimensions for tiny birds to get through, and keep large birds out. The Rising Sun is attached under the normal bird feeder, whilst the August Moon has three legs and stands amongst our plants.

I watch The Teahouses from my bedroom window and Mr Furlong can see them from the kitchen where he potters about. Mr Furlong is a kitchen creature. He has one of his computers in there and produces the food we eat here in this ‘house’. The birds are most active in the mornings. And the Woodmice come to feed too.

Having the Teahouses has stopped the Wood Pigeons chowing all the small bird’s food, and the rooves on them protect them from the view of overflying seagulls and raptors. And protect the food and the birds from the rain. Blackbirds often feed underneath them, picking up the bits. Blackbirds are a little too large to get in. And there is no ledge provided for the bigger birds to stand on if they attempt to stick their heads through the collonades which they do.

After the baby robins left the nest, they were in and out of the Teahouses all day. We haven’t seen them there for a while. Maybe they have found a better chef! But, Rising Sun and August Moon are the most popular eating establishments in our garden.

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Meet the Dad(s) – Robin expert required here please.

Our Robin nest story is now complex.

The thlot plickens!

In the beginning there was a dark Robin and a light Robin and small light Robin hanging about. I thought it might be a young Robin hanging about from a previous nesting.

BOTH the dark Robin and the larger light Robin sat on the eggs. I saw it with my own eyes. I looked it up on the Internet where I found that male Robins “have occasionally been seen to sit on the eggs”. Then the eggs hatched.

I thought the dark Robin had disappeared. She is darker, charcoal even, and has the orange mask around her eyes and a dark widows’peak, whereas the male does not (see pics)

Once a day, I put live worms in the now Blackbirdproof feeder that we invented.

But now something odd is happening. Daddy is feeding his babies. It looks as if he is sitting on them too sometimes. Is that possible?

But, the smaller light coloured Robin, that I thought was a hanger-on, is picking up mouthfuls of worms and flying off into the bushes as if HE is feeding babies too. Is that possible? Two nests in the same garden?

And, as I said I thought the dark Robin had disappeared. Mr Furlong suggested she was out “pulling”…..? But I don’t know. The large photo below is the Robin sitting on the babies today. Is that Dad? No, I think that’s Mom!

Light Dad, Dark Mom, Hatched babies, Hungry baby!


The fat ball visitors

Shssssss! Don’t tell the dog.

On the premise that if you build it, they will come, and we want bird visitors to really like our garden and nest here in the Spring, we have put out bird seed and fat balls.

We have had visitors! But we haven’t seen them.

There is bird seed scattered on the ground in the usual bird-like fashion. But it’s the fat balls that are being demolished fastest.

Trouble is, I suspect the fat balls are being consumed, not by sweet little birdies, but by something with clever hands and bigger mouths.

I hope the dog, Bass, doesn’t discover that. He’ll be sitting outside in all weather waiting to catch the squirrel who’s trashing our fat balls.

We’ll have to dig out the anti squirrel fat ball feeder.

That seams really mean, don’t you think?


Bird food – someday

The Furlongs haven’t bought bird food since the birds disappeared from our garden in 2018. The great bird sucking vortex in the sky.

But its cold and the Wood mice eat it too.

And maybe there’s a hungry bird out there……somewhere.

So we bought bird food seeds and fat balls.

Since then, the weather has been frightful, atrocious, appalling.

No human or bird, nor wood mice would ever go out in that weather.

But we promise to put it all out in the garden, some day soon believing that “if you build it, they will come.”

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Oh poop!

On our way near the end of the canal path that Bass and I walk, a man stopped us, babbling on about a baby bird on the path and seagulls which I could see swooping and screaming ahead.

As we proceeded, it became clear than the seagulls weren’t hunting a poor baby bird as I assumed, but were trying to protect one of their own. An almost adolescent baby gull was tearing up and down the path, probably squawking, but this was not audible in the cacophony of shrieking above.

There was a knot of people directing walkers, cyclists and dog walkers into avoiding the poor baby.

Bass went nuts.

With great difficulty, we got to the end of the path, where we turned. By the time we got back, all the humans had disappeared leaving the baby gull, Bass and me alone on the path.

Bass went more nuts. In fact, totally nuts! I often take him out just with his collar because he is so well behaved. So, today, he was leashed to his collar.


how he didn’t break his neck in his efforts to hunt the baby gull,

beats me.

A miracle.

But he coughed and gasped and scrabbled a lot as I dragged him along on his lead with his feet burning tracks on the tar.

The gulls overhead became furious with rage. They swooped and screamed and bombed us. And the last one through on the attack, pooped on my head.

It pooped right on the crown of my head.

And I could feel it dribbling down towards my left ear all the way home.

Stupid bird!

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Hummingbird meditation

Aren’t these amazing creatures? There are none found here in the wild, or in any country other than those in America.

Here’s a hummingbird meditation for today…


We had a bird….

I’m pretty peeved.

We have had few birds in our garden this Spring, even though we have provided huite cuisine and five star restaurants.

But I noticed the other day, that we’ve had one in our front garden.

You always get some one who will not enjoy our high class facilities at the back. Whoever it was, I didn’t see it, but he is now persona non gratia.

He must have spent a fun time eating all the buds on our rose bushes!


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Five little tweetie birds

Once, only once, the bird sucking vortex in the sky that disappeared all our birds from our garden in May last year, redeposited a few for an hour or so.

Otherwise, since then, there have been none.

I’m beginning to believe the wonderful bird life that animated our lives and garden last spring was a freak episode, never to be repeated in our life time.

Our garden has NO birds. There aren’t many anywhere else either.

One of the Furlong daughters in a village nearby has starlings. A horde of them. But who wants a horde of starlings in their garden?

Well I would. Any bird is better than no bird!


this morning Mr Furlong spied five sparrows sitting in our tree.

I hope they are casing this joint out for the spring….did they notice there’s good food here……?

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The reverse bird sucking vortex

Maybe it was August or September I told you about the bird sucking vortex that came over our house at the end of June and removed all the birds from our garden overnight. Continue reading