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This is not Rain!

This is not Rain!
Photo Information
Copyright: Ivan Kruys (Argus) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-05-12
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 400D, Canon EF 300 f4L + Canon 1.4 converter
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-06-27 0:59
Viewed: 4269
Points: 68
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I have wanted to take a shot of the Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) in breeding plumage for a long time, but couldn’t get close enough before it dived out of sight to hide in the waterside vegetation.

The closest I managed is shown by this image at a distance of about 20meters (63ft), the bonus being that I have captured the male and female together. The male can be seen to have the more vivid contrasting plumage. In the winter both sexes look in their duller combinations of browns and greys. The striking pale yellow patch at the corner of the mouth also fades.

The Little grebe is widespread in small groups or pairs in most of Europe including S. Sweden. In the winter it moves to areas that are free from ice, which means coastal areas in N. Europe, though it is not regarded as migratory.

This image is full of life, not just the Little Grebes. What looks like rain is really a swarm of aquatic insects.

By a process of elimination I conclude that these are flies belonging to the sub-order Nematocera and have just emerged, having spent their developmental stages in the water of this pond. This includes many families, many of which are aquatic and tend to swarm. I regret that I cannot be more specific.

Grebes do not usually eat flies, but they do eat insect larvae and fish that they dive to catch.

This was taken with the camera hand-held. After moderate cropping and size reduction this was selectively sharpened.

On Monday I am travelling to the Swedish Mountains with my son and we are hoping do some photography if the weather is suitable. So I shall continue on TN until Sunday to return in just less than two weeks to hopefully post an image from just S. of the Arctic Circle.

Have a good weekend!

eng55, ellis49, SelenE, haraprasan, eqshannon, jaycee, zulfu, nglen, maurydv, peter_stoeckl, bahadir, CeltickRanger, anel, Silvio2006, saeedabbasi, boreocypriensis, rousettus, ramthakur, JORAPAVI, goldyrs, iris, Alex99 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-06-27 1:22]

Lovely shot of these Little Grebes :-)
I found a pair once but didn't get a decent shot because they were so warey of me and didn't come very close.
Great clarity and sharpness.
Nice colours.
Excellent low-down POV.

Well done, Ivan!


  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-06-27 2:04]

Hi Ivan,
Very nice capture of this little grebes.POV,framing,simple BG and composition are wonderful.Have a good weekend too!
Thanks for posting.

Hi Ivan,
are you happy now?, you was longing for the rain. ;-)
A very fine picture of our smådopping and it's nice to see
both a male and a female at the same time.
Well composed as usual ad the colours are nice.
Well done.

Hoppas att du får en fin resa till fjällen.

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-06-27 4:57]

Hi Ivan,
What a crowd! Those insects look like falling raindrops... Interesting to see so many of them :o) I like the background, composition and the POV. TFS
Have a great weekend,

Hej Ivan
Are you photographing during the rain? Even if this was long distance shot you did good work showing s those two good looking birds.
Well done and TFS

Trevlig resa om vi inte syns i cyber space TN.

Hi Ivan,
A lovely capture of this beautiful couple of little grebe along with their lunch and dinner. Superb details and lovely composition. Best of Luck and Happy journey to the mountains to both you and Jr. Kruys.
Thanks a lot for sharing.

Definitely a weather forecast for ducks as we say here. The droplets add a human touch to the notes...and the ducks look about as complacent as they can...unknowing of their fancy names and all they simply go about their daily activities..I do hope you get some goo weather this year...but at times foul weather can bring good fowl images:-)

Hello Ivan,

Very good shot of the grebes. Very good focus for both male and female. These flies are really amazing. So many!
Very nice light and colours.

Ola Ivan
Bela foto com uma incrivel variedade de vidas, os detalhes ficaram excelentes com boa nitidez e focalização. A luminosidade esta muito boa.

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2008-06-27 10:57]

Hello Ivan, perfect capture of these Little Grebes in all aspects. TFS. Have a nice weekend! Regards,

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-06-27 11:18]

Hi Ivan. I would have bet money on rain it looks just like it. Well the wait was worth it to get the pair together. Good detail and colour from such a distance. well done TFS.
Have a nice weekend and a safe and enjoyable trip on Monday.

Ottima composizione per presentare questa coppia di tuffetti, un'immagine di grande atmosfera per questo apparente fenomeno di pioggia creato dagli insetti, molto belli i colori e la luce. Grazie e complimenti. Ciao Maurizio

Hello Ivan,
amazing discovery - peaceful silence that turns out to be boiling with life. Scandinavia must be a paradise for all insect eating creatures in these days of summer. A great document.
Have a very good trip up to the Shwedish mountains!
I am also planning to go up to the Alps for two or even three weeks right now - just relaxing with my family, and taking just a few pictures this time.
With thanks, and best regards,

Hello Ivan, wonderful shot of these grebes. TFS. Regards,

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-06-27 21:34]

Hi Ivan,

In spite of the distance you captured so much detail in this pair of Grebes. I love their positions and how they look in the wakes they are creating. I was sure it was raining - that certainly is a huge swarm of insects. Sounds like you have a wonderful trip ahead of you. Have fun and take care.


  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-06-28 1:18]

Hello Ivan,
Surprising posting, I was wondering about all these strange raindrops. I hope that yourself weren't surrounded by the flies. I wish you an interesting stay in the Swedish mountains and I'm sure you will come back with plenty of excellent shots.
Bonnes vacances

Hi dear Ivan ,
Very nice shot with lovely moment.
well exposed.

Kind regards

Hi Ivan,

I seem to have missed this excellent picture of the Little Grebes surrounded by the insects. Good composition and DOF, sharp details and nice coulours.



Hi My dear friend Ivan,
A fantastic and splendid shot of these Grebes my friend.
Great composition. Interesting that the aquatic insects created this rainy appearence:). TFS this beauty my friend!
Have a nice Sunday!


merhaba Ivan,
this is really great capture both of little grebes and aquatic insects. later form interesting view similar rain. your capture also great with sharp focus and splendid colors. POV and composition also very nice. thanks for sharing. have a nice weekend my friend

hello Ivan

excellent shot of this couple of Little Grebe, with fine POV,
DOF and framing, excellent sharpness and details,
if you should'nt write these are aquatic insects, i would think is rain,
that water's trout and bass fish most be in the paradise, TFS

have a good trip


Ivan, I wish you and your son a fruitful trip to the mountains of your country and look forward to the pictures you would be taking there.
This is an amazing shot in which the pair of Little Grebes are shown in their beautiful mating plumage.
Those insects flying around the birds do look like rain falling on the water.
Despite long distance, you have managed a very good shot.
TFS and regards,

Hola Ivan,
Preciosa y elegante composición, buena nitidez, bellos colores con una luz muy agradable. interesane y amena nota, que hagas muchas fotos y disfrutes estas dos semanas. Saludos
José Ramón

Ciao Ivan, lovely couple of grebees in a fascinating composition with fantastic insects like rain, splendid light, very well done, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

I love the shot and the note, though I do wish the birds were a little closer to look at.But that's not to take anything away from the shot!

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-07-01 7:50]

Hello Ivan, very nice capture of that beautiful couple, composition is just perfect and the details and exposure are spot on, very good work, thanks!


  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-07-02 5:51]

Hi Ivan,
I also thought it to be rain drops until I read your notes. Incredible shot of these Grebes enjoying a swim among those zillions of aquatic insects. Great documentary image with very impressive sharpness and colours. I like your low POV to portray them. Very nicely composed. Kudos.

Hi Ivan

Hope you and your son had fun in the sub-Arctic mountains, sounds awesome.
Interestingly, I've been trying to get an Australian Little Grebe for some time too, and only got within a similar distance.
A well composed shot with both genders shown, the emerging insects are an unusual bonus. Great sharpness as usual.


  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-07-03 8:57]

Hello Ivan

Wow ,quite the lively shot and the grebes are beautiful.
Nicely composed with excellent details and colours.
The insect activity is an added bonus.
Nicely done.


  • Great 
  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2008-07-04 23:47]

Hi Ivan,
Cant believe these are aquatic insects..
Quite unbelieveable....one can easily get fooled looking at the "raining life" in this composition.

The pair of grebes look quiet enjoying themselves..i wonder whther they feed on these insects!If yes, it must be a treat to them.The impressions formed by the insects in the water are quite interesting especially since you have managed the shot from a distance.The surface tension on water is rather peculiar.And i do not know whether it has to do with my eye or the colour, they seem to have a tad violet shade to them!

Wonderful composition, with an eye for the life around in nature presented with a fine PoV, excellent DoF,colours and perfect framing.Well done.
TFS & Cheers

P.S:Hope you are enjoying your holiday:)Look forward to see you in TN soon:)

The lake so green looks wonderful.


  • Great 
  • GLEM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 540 W: 87 N: 750] (10)
  • [2008-07-05 8:02]

hi Ivan
fanstastique image, la pluie est exploitée a merveille pour donner un brin de vie à ces canards. Excellent pov rasant.


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-07-07 0:29]

Hi Ivan.
I agree with you. Shot is full of content and life. Water surface covered by flies is looked nicely. First, I have thought that these are water plants but you explanation made all clear. Wonderful images of the birds, fine reflections in the water and very good composition of the image at whole. We are waiting for your new shots from Sweden mountains.

  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-07-07 5:30]

Hi İvan
very nice composition
well done.

Really a clear, sharp and well captured image. Well focused.
Wishes, Diana

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