I was momentarily distracted by the Canada Goose With A Treasure while watching the two Hooded Merganser drakes show off. When I reverted my attention to the ducks I saw that a few more females and another male had joined the party.
The three drakes performed tight circle maneuvers…
… that ended with a spirited chase.
The females lost interest and pretty soon they all casually swam to the other side of the pond, out of my view.
The second female toward the back got a little fancier with her tail action and the first one fluffed her crown up, showing a bit more interest.
The male-male competition got a little heated.
Then the female flattened herself, keeping her head under water for a bit, presumably to express interest in the males’ dance. I’d not seen this behavior before, and at one point wondered how long she could stay submerged.
They circled around her several times while the second female moved on.
This possibly is a female Hooded Merganser. I didn’t see her in the water and don’t see them often enough to really know. The Merlin app suggested an Anhinga, which it clearly is not. That was the first time I’ve had that app be way off base.
There was a small flock of Mergansers milling around in a an adjacent pond, in water that took on an odd color reflection.