On Saturday, I found four pairs of red breasted mergansers that were beginning to court. These colorful birds usually don't allow you to get very close without the use of a blind. On this evening, they were too involved with impressing the opposite sex to care about a strange photographer on the shoreline. They continually chased each other back and forth, often swimming within ten feet of me!
With the sun setting, the lighting could not have been better. The temperature was warm and spring was in the air. For nearly an hour, the mergansers put on a show, with the males showing off a strange dance and calling to impress the females.
This was an amazing opportunity for close up images of birds that are usually very skittish. It was one of my favorite moments in nature. The tranquility of the setting, combined with the extraordinary viewing experience of the mergansers made for a very memorable evening!