Studies of a Drake Shoveler

Donald Watson 1918 – 2005

Donald Watson was born in Surrey in 1918. As a child he drew birds, with Archibald Thorburn, wildlife artist, encouraging him. His family moved to Edinburgh where he attended Edinburgh Academy where he met George Waterston, director of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in Scotland and President of the Midlothian Ornithologist’s Club.

Watson studied at Oxford University before war service in India.

He had his first one-man exhibition in Edinburgh in 1949, with more to come in London, Glasgow, Oxford, Dumfries, Toronto and Luxembourg. He illustrated over 30 books and was also a founder member of the Society of Wildlife Artists and president of the Scottish Ornithologist’s Club.

His first book, written and illustrated by him, was “Birds of Moor and Mountain” (1972), followed by “The Hen Harrier” (1977), “A Bird Artist in Scotland” (1988), and “One Pair of Eyes” (1994).

He died in 2005. The Donald Watson Gallery, an exhibition space for wildlife artists at Waterston House in AberladyEast Lothian is named after him.

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