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Bird-watching bid setback for couple.

A WELSH couple attempting to break the birdwatching world record are offering a reward for the return of a video tape stolen in Canada.

Alan Davies and RuthMiller have visited some of the world's most dangerous places, including a lawless region of Africa where tribesmen openly carry AK47 rifles. But it was when they reached the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver, on Canada's westernseaboard, that theysufferedthe firstmajor setback in their year-long record attempt. Among the possessions taken from the boot of their hire car was a video camera with footage of the blue cotinga and other rare birds they sawin Panama.

The couple are trying to photograph or film many of the birds they see, in case they break the birding record and are challenged to produce evidence.

The former RSPB officers from Llandudno are trying to see more bird species in a year than anyone has ever seen before. The current record is 3,662 and so far they have spotted 2,186. Their tour has taken them to a Kenya still in the grip of post-election rioting, and to risky areas of Ethiopia.

Mr Davies, fromLlandudno, said: "We lost half a day's birding because our flight to Canada was delayed. We onlysaw32 species in Canada, out of 60 we had hoped for. We're not confident at all that we will break the recordyet. BymidAugustwewill have a better idea."
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 19, 2008
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