The Donald & Jeff Watson Raptor Award is awarded annually by the Scottish Raptor Study Groups, in memory of two outstanding raptor ecologists. The winner of the 2011 Watson Award is Geoff Sheppard, from the Dumfries & Galloway Raptor Study Group.
Geoff has been secretary of the West Galloway SOC group since 1976 and has been the BTO Regional Representative since 1983. His dedication to a 25-year study of Barn Owls is outstanding and deserving of recognition, with as many as 100 sites being checked at least three times per year. The scale of Geoff’s study has to be seen to be believed, with great attention to detail, which will allow the data to be utilised by ornithologists long into the future. It is for this reason, combined with his ability and keenness to instill an interest in birds in everyone he meets, that Geoff was awarded the Donald and Jeff Watson Raptor Award.