The Dutch born scientist Geerat Vermeij is a renowned ecologist, marine biologist and geologist who is a distinguished professor at the University of California, Davis. He has achieved success in his chosen fields of observation based science, in spite of being blind since he was 3 years old. Here is a typical paper by him on the academic fields that interest him.
Here is a great piece by him on the importance of observation in science.
A typical image by Haeckel