I have always thought begging ducks were something for densely populated areas. Places like city parks, (or everywhere in the Netherlands). But not in a normal, Norwegian forest. Well, I was wrong. Even here, your lunch might not be safe for mr. and mrs. Duck.
A few weeks ago, I went for a walk in one of the forests around Trondheim. Not very remote, but still quiet and with real, untouched nature. After walking for a bit, it was time for lunch. I soon found a nice place with some stones to sit on, overlooking the water. I had enough time on my hands, so planned to enjoy my lunch in all peacefulness.
Nah, that was no option. No sooner had I gotten the lunchbox from my bag, or two ducks came swimming to the shore. Looking at me inquisitively, they quickly concluded that I was indeed carrying food. And they were obviously convinced that I would feed it to them. Even though they were a bit hesitant at first, they climbed ashore and started toddling closer and closer. Ducks are really no scary animals. At all. But once they were actually circling around me, I have to admit I started to feel rather uneasy.
I didn’t want to risk it, so I put away my lunch first. Then I tried a calm “ssh!”, accompanied with some shooing gestures. No luck. They seemed to find it rather amusing, really. Ok, maybe I needed to make myself a bit more scary. Standing up, I tried the shooing again. Again, it didn’t work. As much as it hurt my pride, there was nothing to do, but relocate myself. Surely they would leave me alone then. So I picked up my bag and walked for about fifty meters to the next available stone. It worked. I could eat my lunch in peace… for about three minutes. Then they were back, and felt as if I owed them even more food, now they had had to walk all this way for it.
Since I really wasn’t going to feed them, there was nothing more to do. I had to put up with them while I quickly ate my lunch. But really, when mr. Duck is walking circles around you while mrs. Duck is keeping watch from as close as the tip your toes, even the nicest salad loses its taste. So much for my quiet, outstretched lunch…
Have you ever felt harassed by ducks?