Juvenile grebe preening

This is from one of last year’s broods of grebe chicks in the canals of our city.

This is my favourite picture from last year. I like the bird pose, the colour morphing into that of an adult, the eye well visible, the neck still with the stripes. That said, the blue reflection in the water - coming from a boat cover or car parked nearby - bothers me. I’d appreciate your thoughts.

Posting in this forum because of the man-made element already mentioned.

Specific Feedback Requested

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Nikon D750
Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6
f/8 @400mm ISO1600 1/320

Hello Esme. Welcome to NPN. This is a fine first post with an interesting plumage in the bird and good detail. While the whites on the side are definitely not blown out, I do think you could get a bit more detail to show. If you let us know what processing software you’re using, someone may have a specific suggestion. While the blue reflection is pretty intense, I don’t think it ruins the image. You could probably desaturate it a bit to help reduce the distraction.

While this forum is for the interaction of fauna with the human world, I would consider this a borderline case, If you want more feedback, I think you’d be better served to have it in the Avian forum. If you wish, I can move it there.

Thanks again for posting and I look forward to seeing a lot more posts and comments.

Many thanks for the feedback.
Yes, could you please move the image to the Avian forum?
Thank you,

@EMF. It’s been moved to Avian Esme.

Hi Esme and nice to see you posting here. This is a really interesting photo. It really show off the flexibility of the young grebe. You captured a really nice pose. A couple of things I might do if mine would be to rotate the photo counter clockwise to level it. If you run a straight line through some dark feathers on the head to the same feathers in the reflection they should be a vertical line to the viewer. That should give you horizontal.
And I agree with you about the blue. I suggest reducing the blue channel in your photo editing software if you can. And if you can do that than perhaps try reducing the luminance of the blue channel as well and that may reduce the brightness of the white feathers and reveal more detail as Dennis has suggested.
Well done and looking forward to seeing more photos.

@Dennis_Plank and @David_Leroy many thanks for your help and suggestions! I will work at the picture further.