1917-1980. Ornithologist, agriculturalist and writer. Author of British Birds of Prey (1976). Of Scottish descent, he was born in India and spent most of his life in Africa, in Nigeria and Kenya, which was his adopted home after 1946.
Educated at Oundle School, graduated in zoology at St Andrews University and went on to study tropical agriculture at Cambridge and Trinidad. Received PhD from St Andrews in 1973.
Joined Colonial Agricultural Service 1940; from 1956, Deputy Director for Agriculture, then Chief Agriculturalist in Kenya, retiring in 1963 (OBE 1963(. Thence an agricultural advisor for World Bank and other aid organisations, and also studied birds, especially pelicans, flamingoes and eagles (Crowned Eagles nested in his garden at Karen house, Kenya).
Indefatigable, despite intermittent ill-health, wrote a dozen books and 30 scientific papers for Ibis and other journals in 1970s alone. His masterworks were the two-volume Eagles, hawks and falcons of the world (1968) and the first volume of the Birds of Africa (1982). A great raconteur, clever, courageous, a born communicator, 'not a glad sufferer of fools, pompous landowners, constipated functionaries, imperceptive editors oe slow publishers'.