RSPB Bempton Cliffs said a volunteer spotted the bird at Staple Newk this afternoon.
They tweeted: "We have touchdown!! One of our fab volunteers has spotted our first puffin on the cliffs at Staple!"
With their comical gait and brilliantly coloured breeding season bills, puffins are among the most popular sights in the UK’s coastal nature reserves.
The RSPB says: "Adult puffins arrive back at the breeding colony in March and April and leave again in mid-August. Some remain in the North Sea at winter, others move further south to the Bay of Biscay.
"Its comical appearance is heightened by its red and black eye-markings and bright orange legs. Used as a symbol for books and other items, this clown among seabirds is one of the world's favourite birds."
There are currently around 580,000 breeding pairs in the UK, and with around half of those spread around just a few sites, the birds are currently an endangered Red List species.
It is thought to be only the second ever time a puffin has been found in the Wakefield area - the last recorded time being in 1886.