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Véronique

I had never seen the word kestrel until now so I had to look it up, and... do not read further if you're happy with the Nordic warring prince image. (I was.)
It comes from crécelle, which is the French name of a rattle with a dented wheel (it doesn't seem to have a specific name in English (http://www.knotjustjigs.co.uk/images/fr.bmp)), that gave its name to this bird (faucon crécerelle), obviously because of its scream. Voilà.

The Wife

Ha - triumph! I was right, then. But just to remind you: I was also right about the "Dompfaff" (Pyrrhula pyrrhula), which is an exceedingly charming bird.

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimpel_(Art)

As far as the hovering bird you saw is concerned: I, too, think that that was a kestrel. As far as I know, no other bird can do the hovering trick.

Jan

Sure you didn't saw a falcon? This hovering is very typical for Common kestrel (Turmfalke Falco tinnunculus) and the pointy wing form in your picture is more falcon like than buzzard like.
We have quite a bunch of birds of prey here in Germany...

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