Today I spent a glorious afternoon flying, handling and feeding a variety of hawks, eagles and owls.

The thing is, I didn’t really like birds. See, my dad had a phobia of birds and as I looked up to him, I thought I didn’t like them either. Yet when a couple of pigeons nested in the trees at the bottom of our garden several years ago, I didn’t really mind. I’d got used to the large amounts of bird poo on our front path (as unpleasant as it is) so to realise we had pigeons actually living “with” us wasn’t a great surprise – but realising that I quite liked having birds around was a surprise.

When I arrived at “Bird on the hand” in Market Harborough this afternoon I stood and took in the surroundings. Literally in the midst of beautiful English countryside.

My favourite place to be.

I was with my friend, Sue, and soon Robert and two others joined us. Andrew, our host shared stories of how he developed his interest in Birds of Prey. Then he introduced us to the birds. One by one we met Eddie the Eagle and Elvis, Dottie, Olive and others. As we met them we guessed their weight and found out all sorts of interesting facts.

When we were confortable, we all put on the big leather gloves that bird handlers wear and gathered in a semi-circle. The first bird was let out. Starting with the smallest was very sensible. Out he came and flew to Sue’s outstretched arm. The markings on his feathers were amazing. Andrew made sure we all received a visit.

Next we took one of the hawks out in the woods. Watching him fly and swoop really was breathtaking, and so the afternoon continued. More interesting questions and answers and more bird handling and feeding.

At the end we all left, and I will be going back there, I am sure.

So, about my not liking birds. Well, like many things; worries, fears, concerns; when you show them the light of day; when you meet them and take action, it turns out that it’s not what you thought. In my case, it just wasn’t my issue. How often do we take on other people’s feelings and believe they are our own?

Is there something that’s worrying you that you could be brave and take action on?

This one reminded Sue and I of a cuddly toy – but when she blinked she had vibrant purple eyelids, so she was called “Dusty”.

What can you face today? (With or without purple eyeshadow!) I’d love to hear how you get on – do post your experiences in the comments section below.

Naomi Martell-Bundock

Naomi Martell-Bundock

CEO at Core Sense
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Naomi Martell-Bundock