Birds and bauxite don't mix

AS AN 85-year-old Toodyay local who has spent a lot of time in the bush, I believe that some of our birds would be affected by bauxite mining.
First of all there is the emu which likes the gravel soil on the eastern side of a hill because it is dry soil and the male bird can get off the nest to feed while the early morning sun keeps the eggs warm.
The next bird is the sacred kingfisher which at most times digs a hole on the side of a hill or in termite nest or where earth has been built up, or in the banks of a creek and sometimes will nest in a hollow branch of a tree.
The next bird is the plover of which there are different kinds all over Australia.
Our plover, the plain plover likes to nest on dry, loose ground in a small amount of grass and often uses old dry cow manure to nest in.
I have often found our grey teal ducks nest in a heap of rubbish near the creeks, sometimes in hollow tree stumps and quite often their nests have been found where there were old rabbit burrows.
Next is the brown quail which quite often nests in wheat, oats or barley crops or high grass in a depression in the ground near creeks or swamps.
Wood ducks’ nests are often found in hollow tree stumps near water and the nests are lined with down and sticks.
Our red cap robin and scarlet robin often nest in tree stumps and forks of small trees close to the ground.
Our blue wren nests close to the ground in scrub bushes or in low hanging branches of wattle trees among thick bunches of leaves.
Our little ground lark makes its nest with grass in a small depression in the ground behind a tall tuft of grass.
Two others things we would lose are our snake and long-tailed goanna populations which we have to have to keep down the rats, mice and grass hoppers that, at times, cause us a lot of trouble.
Bauxite mining would wipe them all out.
Ron Waters

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