For the last couple of weeks I've been trying to spot a kestrel in the likely places with no luck, so it figures that on the day that I'm not looking, I find one. Well, sort of not looking. If I'm standing outside talking to you, don't be offended if my eyes are darting around, looking in the sky or trees behind you--it isn't that I don't find your conversation utterly fascinating--I do, I do--but there is the possibility an interesting bird somewhere in the middle distance. So, I'm always looking.
Last week, while I was out in New Egypt scanning the power lines for a perching kestrel, I met another birder I know who was looking for snipe, which I'd already seen. I showed her the snipe in the mud puddle in the cattle field (just about where the Northern Lapwings were 3 years ago) and she told me she'd seen a kestrel a the airport on Rt 530. The airport is 6 minutes from where we live. Much gnashing of teeth.
I've passed by there a few times in the last few days, and this morning, on my way to visit my mother, I saw a bird perched on the fence, pumping its tail and it wasn't a phoebe, yes, at the Robert J. Miller Air Park at 7:38 A.M., I had my FOY (and Ocean County) American Kestrel.