I had a couple of new sources of information today about Ufton Field - first a chance encounter with a working party, then an email from a former warden.
From Dave (the current warden?) on the working party I learned that the site currently holds Woodcock, a bird I'd love to see in Warwickshire, as well as Snipe and one or two others I'd like to find. And then, having shared a bit of chit-chat about the place, I arrived home to find an email explaining the birding history of the place.
I was pointed to this site here, which lists all the birds seen on the reserve since the 1970s - although as it points out, it was much more open in the early days, hence records of Black Tern and Bewick and Whooper Swans for example. Even so, the list is amazing - Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, possible Wood Warbler, Long-eared and Short-eared Owl, Tree Pipit and Great Grey Shrike, for example, are all staggeringly rare in Warwickshire.
I don't know whether to be enthused and motivated, or dis-heartened and gutted! Might they all be a possibility for the future, or has the reserve's hey-day long gone? I guess the only way to find out is to keep going - after all, I was excited to learn that my 2004 Mandarin Duck was almost certainly a reserve first.
Picture: a Pied Flycatcher from Dinas, Mid Wales, 2005 - will I ever find such an elusive creature at Ufton Fields though?!