I guess the bird I will remember most from 2012 was the Buff-bellied Pipit that materialised at the end of my beached bird survey round-up at Rerwick on 30th September. Becoming more regular in the UK all the time, but still a great bird to find, and this is a beautiful spot in the south mainland of Shetland that I bet virtually none of the visiting birders swarming over the islands that weekend had visited before. That was great – but pics have already appeared on BF, so for the round up, how about a spectacle? Iceland Gulls in the early weeks of 2012 – hundreds of them in the harbours and dumps of northern Britain and the west of Ireland. Paul Harvey and I had a day’s gulling in Shetland on 28th January, when we notched up no fewer than 132. At least 50 together in Lerwick, including the attached kumlieni. Sometimes, winter birding is hard to beat for all-round value, not least because the days are so short, there is plenty of time to get home for tea, cake, a bottle of wine, maybe even an Islay malt or two… Merry Christmas!