On the look-out for puffins

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PUFFINS are notoriously difficult to spot, but from Easter onwards RSPB Bempton Cliffs will be giving visitors the best chance by running special patrols.

Every weekend the patrols will scour the cliff-tops to search out one the reserve’s favourite residents and visitors are being invited to join in the fun looking for the exotic little seabirds.

Steve Race, the reserve’s community officer, said: “Everyone loves the puffins – and with their comical, seemingly-over-sized colourful beaks and waddling walk, it’s not hard to see why.

“But these birds – which have been called the clowns of the sea – don’t always make life easy for visitors.

“They nest in cracks and crevices in the cliffs and sometimes can be really hard to see.

“But our team of volunteers who man the reserve’s five viewing platforms can be pretty sneaky themselves and are very good at sussing out the best places to watch the puffin hideaways.

“The volunteers are armed with walky-talkies and can radio back to the visitor centre – and any walk leaders – as soon as a puffin is spotted out of its nest.”

The puffin patrols start on Easter Saturday, April 23 and will run every Saturday and Sunday until July 10, starting at 11am and 2pm. Each walk will last an hour.

The puffin is the smallest seabird to visit RSPB Bempton Cliffs and they are there from April to July.

The puffin patrols are free but there is a daily car park charge of £3.50 a car, which allows everyone in the car to get into the reserve for free. RSPB members park for free.