James Chubb

East Devon Education Ranger James Chubb explores our countryside

Seize the day, watch the wildlife world go by

Posted over 3 years ago by Web Editor with 0 comments

This year, I toddled off for my ‘summer’ holidays in early July, when the earth’s axial tilt during its annual orbit of the sun produced longer daylight hours and, historically, higher average temperatures. Sadly, I decided to go to...

Treat to see two species off coast together

Posted over 3 years ago by Web Editor with 0 comments

If any of you own fruit trees, especially apple or pear, you are probably feeling a little overwhelmed by now. I know I am. The trees in my little garden are groaning under the burden of ever-ripening fruit and, a bit like the magic porridge pot, there...

Sparrowhawks’ full speed flypast

Posted over 3 years ago by Web Editor with 0 comments

I often get asked when people should put food out for garden birds? It is something of a debate, whether you feed continually through the year or offer food in the coldest of months. Down on the Axe Wetlands, we have a crop of hanging feeders which dangle...

Gangly beach visitors

Posted over 3 years ago by Web Editor with 0 comments

A HOST of unusual lovelies. Where to begin? firstly, a quick apology for the hiatus of last week, a sheer volume of events through the week and the previous three weekends meant that I was unable to meet the copy deadline and sadly missed our weekly wildlife...

Watch out! There’s a leaf miner out and about

Posted over 3 years ago by Web Editor with 0 comments

Anyone who has spent any time scrutinising a bramble bush at this time of year will be familiar with the snake-like trace on the leaf surface. These labyrinth squiggles are the tunnels of the serpentine leaf miner caterpillar, which eats the leaf from...

Enjoy wetlands bioblitz day

Posted over 3 years ago by Web Editor with 0 comments

Some weeks a photograph just leaps out at me that, no matter how tenuous the link, I simply have to use it for the article. This is one of those weeks. This stunning shot of a hummingbird hawkmoth was actually snapped across the border in Dorset, but...

Halting the Loss

Posted over 3 years ago by Web Editor with 0 comments

I’m all for looking on the bright side of life. If there’s a glass half full (notice the full) I am more interested in the quality of the beer remaining, than the loss of the first half pint. After all, there’s always time for another...

Fight or flight instinct prevails under pressure

Posted over 3 years ago by Web Editor with 0 comments

There may be a few thousand years of selective breeding separating them, but, as any owner will tell you, when faced with a stressful situation a dog will reveal the wolf lurking just beneath the skin. It’s the same for us too, when anxiety levels...

Larvae hitches a lift to bee nests

Posted over 3 years ago by Web Editor with 0 comments

A recent morning spent searching for insects led me to realise how much of my job requires me to peer into the distance looking for large things far away. On hands and knees, inspecting flowerheads in minute detail was an odd feeling, with my eyes taking...

Spring gardens: hive of nest-building activity

Posted over 3 years ago by Web Editor with 0 comments

As regular readers of this column will already know, there is one garden bird with a particular place in my heart; long-tailed tit. These tiny, industrious little balls of fluff have a wonderfully engaging manner. They move through gardens and woodland...

Don’t be fooled by sunny skies

Posted over 3 years ago by Web Editor with 0 comments

Periods of cold, clear, settled weather are such a treat at this time of year. It feels like spring is on its way when you find a sheltered sunny spot but, when you feel the full force of the cold wind, you quickly realise that its still very much early...

Abundance of wildlife defies land's history

Posted over 3 years ago by Web Editor with 0 comments

Last week I looked in on a little nature reserve, tucked away in a sleepy corner of the district, on the hunt for a couple of my favourite birds. Lying to the north of Honiton, about half-a-mile along the Farway road from the Hare and Hounds pub, Knapp...

Dormice enjoy a full belly and a long sleep

Posted over 3 years ago by Web Editor with 0 comments

Well, we’re nowhere near the formal start of spring, but if you know what to look for and you take the time to glance and listen, signs that spring is on the way are definitely out there. Spring in our calendars may not be with us for another eight...

Winter flocks and extra socks

Posted over 3 years ago by Web Editor with 0 comments

As the weather continues to hold the East Devon countryside in an icy grip there is a little warming cheer to raise the spirits of any countryside visitor at this time. While the winter chill is something of a shock to us, our relatively mild climate...

Sleeping with the fishes

Posted over 4 years ago by Web Editor with 0 comments

Sleeping with the fishes Sometimes in the course of my rangering duties, pretty often in fact, I have cause to feel very lucky indeed. Last monday was just one such moment. I joined a team of enthusiastic foodies and fishermen on a Catch & Cook event...

Ladies and Gentlemen, drumroll please, I give you Pandion haliaetus the Osprey

Posted over 4 years ago by Web Editor with 0 comments

What a magnificent bird! This beautiful photograph was taken just last week from the Seaton Marshes bird hide, and it has persuaded me to feature the species in this week’s column even though its a bit late to go out there and see one. Osprey move...

Rich rewards for vigilance

Posted over 4 years ago by Web Editor with 0 comments

Sometimes there is occasion for me to look over the border, outside the beloved District, when something really significant occurs in the natural world about which I can pen an article. Last time it was an American man with a germinating pea plant in...

Eyebrow raising wildlife facts

Posted over 4 years ago by Web Editor with 0 comments

Sometimes nature can produce truly incredible instances. As this is a column which strives to bring you eyebrow-raising wildlife facts, I turned my attention across the Atlantic to allow me licence to pen the dreadful title of this week’s article...

Keeping the heath healthy

Posted over 4 years ago by Web Editor with 0 comments

Arguably the most important habitat we are lucky enough to have on our doorstep, and certainly one of the few of global significance, is the lowland heath. Sites such as Woodbury Common, Aylesbeare, or Fire Beacon Hill, are more than just lovely places...

Fear for finches

Posted over 4 years ago by Web Editor with 0 comments

Have you noticed a lack of greenfinches in the garden recently? A few years ago it would have been quite normal to overlook chaffinches and greenfinches as you were straining to get a really good glimpse of a goldfinch quietly lurking in the hedge. However...

Enjoyable elements

Posted over 4 years ago by Web Editor with 0 comments

Some of the most enjoyable elements of my job as a Ranger, are when I get to help our grazier with the herd of Devon Ruby Red cattle that munch their way across Colyford Common every summer. The cows keep the common in pristine condition for the winter...

Does the end justify the means?

Posted over 4 years ago by Web Editor with 0 comments

Unless you have been living in a cave under the sea, a mile down beneath the Atlantic Ocean... No, scratch that, even if you have been living in a cave, under the sea, a mile down beneath the Atlantic Ocean you will know about the catastrophic environmental...

In an English Country Garden

Posted over 4 years ago by Web Editor with 0 comments

This Saturday sees the return of possibly the most quintessentially English Spring Fete in the District. Bluebell Day is back on saturday and, just as last year, there are wildlife and woodland activities to get involved with from dawn right through until...

Nocturnal Beauties

Posted over 4 years ago by Web Editor with 0 comments

Last week’s column was a little heavy, I’ll admit it, so I thought it was high time to return to the honest-to-goodness substance of this feature and have a close look at some wildlife. And what a treat I have for you this week. Arguably the...

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