For the last few weeks there has been a pair of smew visible from Decoy Hide at Shapwick Heath NNR on the Somerset Levels. More recently, a second redhead smew has been on the same lake but rather more mobile. I was lucky enough to catch up with the pair this morning on a pretty grim dark winter's morning. They confined themselves to the stretch of water in front of the hide but usually well off to the left hand side. At one point after a long dive, the drake came up wearing a broad sash of brown weed which he continued to wear for the next 15 minutes. They are obviously very much in love at the moment (suitably close to Valentine's Day), indulging in much chest puffing and courtship behaviour and I observed them to mate on one occasion. Unfortunately they are not so wrapped up in each other that they have become unaware of their surroundings and they were very nervous when they heard voices from the path and flew off when more people arrived at the hide (fortunately not for long). Well worth a visit and I may try again when the light is more favourable.
Technical Note: Here are some pictures taken this morning at high ISO (up to 1600) and lowish shutter speeds. They are all cropped at least 50% before being resized for web presentation and all required noise reduction.