Dafila grew up drawing birds from an early age, in particular, the wild Bewick swans which came to the pond in front of the family home at Slimbridge.
Dafila’s father, Sir Peter Scott, had noticed that he could identify individuals by the differences in the pattern of yellow and black on their bills. He began a study of the Bewick swans.
Dafila won a scholarship to Millfield, in Somerset. She took to drawing the individual swans and quickly became involved with her father’s studies. As a result of this, Dafila began a career as a zoologist.
After some years she turned to drawing and painting. She studied with Robin Child at Lydgate Art Research Centre in Wiltshire.
Most of Dafila’s work is inspired by wildlife and landscapes with which she has become familiar.
Working mostly in oils, sometimes in watercolours and also in pastels, she paints from a combination of field sketches and memory.
The Fenlands of East Anglia where she lives are an important source of inspiration, and she makes frequent visits to Wales, and with her husband to the Kalahari.
More recently, she has concentrated on abstract landscapes in which she finds the essence of place and brings together memories of past and recent experiences.
As a member of the Society of Wildlife Artists she has exhibited regularly at the Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries.
Dafila has also illustrated books.
In 2011 she spent a month as Artist in Residence on the Royal Navy’s Ice Patrol vessel in the Antarctic, sponsored by the Scott Polar Research Institute and the Royal Navy.
In 2014 she won the Birdwatch Swarovski prize. In 2015 Dafila was runner up in the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year.