I'm glad this triggered a storybook memory for you, Dave. Maybe my bird is in your childhood bird's family tree. Wouldn't that be something? I stuffed a fish in my bird because the bird's beak was open wide and looked silly without something in it.
I would ditch the white mass in the third version and keep that area the way it is in the second version. That way, the viewer's eye follows the bend of the water without being distracted. IOW: Imagination takes the viewer around the bend. Then, I would add something behind the rock on the left side -- behind the spot of yellow. Something off in the distance that adds some extra visual interest to show the depth of the scene.