Having served on the Rarities Committee for a total of nearly twelve years since 1962, and as chairman since 1972, D. I. M. Wallace has now expressed a wish to retire from that position. His enormous contribution to the workings of the Rarities Committee will be well known to most readers. He summarised in detail the committee's achievements in its first ten years (Brit. Birds, 63: 113-129) and, while he has been chairman, has consolidated its reputation, both in this country and abroad; he also has an exemplary record of making available to others his personal expertise, through identification papers and notes.
In the past thirteen years, he has contributed 'Field identification of Hippolais warblers' (Brit. Birds, 57: 282-301), 'Dowitcher identification: a brief review' (61: 366-372), 'Identification of Spotted Sandpipers out of breeding plumage' (63: 168-173), 'Field identification of Dusky and Radde's Warblers' (with R. J. Johns, 65: 497-501), 'Field identification of small species in the genus Calidris' (67: 1-17), 'Field identification of Short-toed and Lesser Short-toed Larks' (with R. H. Dennis, 68: 238-241), 'Field identification of grey geese' (with M. A. Ogilvie, 68: 57-67), 'A review of waterthrush identification' (69: 27-33), 'Identification of European treecreepers' (with C. J. Mead, 69: 117-131) and 'Distinguishing Great Snipe from Snipe' (pages 377-383 in this issue). He has not hesitated to tackle some of the most difficult problems confronting field observers and it is encouraging to note that his output is increasing rather than diminishing; other papers are in preparation