Bird experts were puzzled after a razorbill was rescued 60 miles from the coast - only the third time in a century that the seabird has been spotted inland.
Vanessa Hill was on the way to pick up her daughter from school in Tockwith, North Yorkshire, when she saw what she thought was a penguin on the quiet country lane.
The mother, who runs Leeds Cat Rescue, coaxed the bird into a bag and took it to a vets to be checked over.
She said: "He looked a bit confused when I found him and was very indignant when I tried to gather him up - I got a nasty peck for my troubles too.
"I looked online to see where razorbills 'hang out' and came across RSPB Bempton Cliffs, so got in touch with them."
With her daughter Ella, she made the 120 mile round trip to the reserve near Bridlington, and returned the razorbill to the sea.
Keith Clarkson of the RSPB said: "It's an absolute mystery as to how this little bird ended up so far inland.
"There are somewhere around 20,000 razorbills nesting on Bempton cliffs and, to my knowledge, this is only the third time ever that a razorbill has been found inland in the last century.
"We know there were some foggy conditions around the time the bird was found, so it may be that he got completely lost in the fog and couldn't find his way back.
"It's very unusual though."