Thanks to all who voted. It was great to see that there were folks who appreciated all of the images I had narrowed down to. In the end I went with “Pause in a Cat Nap”.
Mostly because this is the picture that I liked best, and I would have always wondered “what if” if it wasn’t submitted.
I strongly considered “Mallard in Flight”, but opted against it because I know something about the picture that most of you (probably) didn’t notice. The highlighted bird is actually, well, two birds. (Link to higher res image.) You can see the tail of the background bird just below the highlighted one. If you look closely at the highlighted left wing, you’ll find that it’s actually part of the background bird and not the foreground bird. It’s pretty hard to tell, but I’m pretty sure the foreground bird’s left wing is actually the spread wing-tip feathers you can see above the highlighted area. Once you notice this, it kind of ruins the whole picture… and I just couldn’t submit it that way.
Wish me luck!