The second candidate in David Lindo's Vote National Bird Campaign is the puffin championed today by RSPB President, Miranda Krestovnikof. If you are persuaded by Mirdanda, then go ahead and cast your vote!
It didn’t take me long to decide which contender would get my vote in the National Bird campaign; for me it’s the puffin that’s the obvious winner.
What’s not to love about them? They are strikingly beautiful birds with a real personality. They are unmistakable even from a distance with their distinctive flattened, brightly coloured bill. Their appearance is heightened by red and black eye markings and orange legs... almost as if they are about to appear on stage in a panto! They are the real clowns among seabirds and their comical faces put a smile on my own face whether I see them in the flesh or on a photo. They remind me of crazy wind up toys that potter about erratically looking surprised at all times. I just think they are the most charismatic birds!
I’ve been lucky enough to get close to puffins a number of times during my TV career – I’ve filmed them on Skomer and the Shiants and I even ringed one last year. There was a lot of biting and pecking, but it’s easy to forgive those cheeky faces.
I was once standing in front of a puffin burrow doing a piece to camera when one stood right in front of me with a sort of annoyed expression and then ran right through my legs. I was blocking the entrance to its burrow and it was a bit miffed to say the least.
One of the best places to guarantee (as much as you ever can with wildlife) to see a puffin is at RSPB Bempton Cliffs in East Yorkshire. Within two hundred metres of the visitor centre you’re surrounded by puffin nooks and crannies and those gorgeous faces appear inquisitively. You can get close to the action from six, safe cliff-edge viewing platforms. After all the excitement you can look round the brand new seabird centre and enjoy that well-earned cup of tea.
So come on, please join me in voting for the puffin, a bird with the looks and the personality!
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