Don't worry Gene, I don't actually 'toss' many of my photos. I use the term toss as a general descriptor, but what it actually means to me is; stop working on it, and just stick it in the archives (and maybe go back to it down the road). I have 3TB of space for my 'tossed' images. The only images I actually use the DELETE key on are those that are missed focus, bad poses, or those that I have multiples of. A good example is of the Muscovy portrait - I have 12 burst shots, and of those, 2 were deleted for OOF, and 2 were deleted because he/she looked away or something similar.
As to why I took theses. They were on a MeetUp photowalk, and we came across the duck. Everyone was standing back taking full-body pics, and IMO, that's a boring pic of a boring (ugly) bird. I first tried to get very close with a fisheye (got the camera about 18" from him), but the bird didn't like that very much, and the 1 shot I did get didn't really give me what I hoped for. I changed lenses, and went tight. The feet were just a different take on the bird that I thought may be an interesting image. I still think it is a different or unique take on the bird. I've never felt myself to be very artistic/creative, but I try, and I do like the way this came out, except for my exposure error (see above). Had he not flown away after these two, I probably would have chimped enough to get a better technical shot.
I have always thought that there is a cool picture in Cypress knees (I think that's what they're called), and while I'm still not there yet with them, this one (so far) has been the one I like the most. Still looking for that really awesome shot of them, so there will be more. One day there will be either an incredibly interesting or artistic shot of them that will work.
I don't post much stuff, but when I do, it's just to see if the image does anything for those that weren't there. Sometimes there is a story or emotion, and I want to get that across, and some times, I just want to see if an image is pleasing or interesting to others.