Observing Common Merganser's courtship behaviour

I had a crazy proportion of brunch with family and family friends this morning. A bike ride in the afternoon was needed to burn off excess calories.

It was cloudy and gray, and high-tide as well. I began biking towards the South Dyke Sharing Farm.

VARSOVIA (a.k.a. Warsaw, the capital of Poland).

Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)
Male Bufflehead foraging close to the rocky river bank.

Parachute Ball
The only thing of interest at the sharing farm, along with a slimy slug that I touched but didn't photograph.

Then I went to London's Landing to find this Rufous Hummingbird (again). I really hope I can get a good photo of it one of these days, i.e. blue sunny day and no breeze at all.

Then I observed this strange behaviour of this Common Merganser pair far out in the river. The male was swimming normally, but the female laid her head close to the water surface and floated beside the male. She wasn't acting aggressive towards the male or doing anything out of ordinary (beside the strange flattened-body pose). I found these images on Flickr and the photographer labeled it as courthip behavior which I thought was interesting considering it is the female performing this action. Apparently what I saw was a small part of the courtship ritual.

Afterwards, I biked to Finn Slough and came across another female Common Merganser preening herself. It didn't seen to mind me watching and photographing it, so I was able to get some good photos, despite the poor lighting.

Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)

Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)

Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)
In the end, she had enough and took off.

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
A male Mallard with an unimpressive green head.

An adult Bald Eagle perching and preening where I usually see it.

First swallows photo of the season - the only way I am able to photograph them in flight. As soon as I took some photos of this scene, rain drops started to fall and then I went back home.

Only biked for about two hours, I hope that's enough.

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