Bempton’s birds come to the rescue

Penny and David Papps pick up souvenirs oftheir visit from Australia to Bempton Cliffs.
Penny and David Papps pick up souvenirs oftheir visit from Australia to Bempton Cliffs.

Imagine travelling halfway across the world just to see your favourite bird - and then not being able to spot one.

That disappointment faced Penny and David Papps who were so desparate to see a puffin that they flew to the UK from their home in New South Wales.

The Australian visitors braved the rain with volunteers David Wright and John Bairstow

The Australian visitors braved the rain with volunteers David Wright and John Bairstow

The couple travelled almost 9,500 miles in the hope of seeing puffins on the Isle of Mull of the Scottish coast.

But the British weather almost ruined their plans and scuppered any chance they had of sailing to the island.

So they came up with a Plan B - making a detour to Bempton Cliffs.

The weather was no better in East Yorkshire and they arrived in torrential rain - but a couple of eagle-eyed volunteers helped them to achieve their dream.

David Wright and John Bairstow were convinced they could help the long-distance puffin trackers spot one or two of their favourite birds.

Because of Bempton’s accessibility, there was no need for Penny and David to board a boat and short walk from the Seabird Centre to a cliff top viewpoint gave them breathtaking views over the nesting sites. The intrepid group were greeted by the sight of eight puffins.

Penny said: “It was amazing to see them perched on the towering cliffs. I’ve loved puffins since I saw one on a book when I was three – I thought it was really magical.

“Over half a century on, that magic hasn’t faded and seeing them for real is a lifetime’s ambition.”