Migratory birds sometimes fly thousands of kilometres before resting – and sometimes nesting – on Belongil Beach near the estuary of Belongil Creek.
The area is a sanctuary for the creatures and part of the Cape Byron Marine Park.
But their peace and quiet came to an end on Saturday, when a band of thoughtless bikers roared through their midst.
Imagine flying all that way, only to have your rest-stop disturbed by a bunch of hoons.
Fortunately for the birds, the selfish riders were caught on camera by members of a group conducting a HotSpots survey on the beach.
Group co-ordinator Mary Gardner told Echonetdaily that the creek mouth was closed on the day, meaning the rev-heads could roar right through the sanctuary as well as the adjacent Elements of Byron Resort frontage all the way to Main Beach.
She added there was no way the bikers could have avoided noticing the site.
‘There often is some nesting in early December. Fencing is up and there are all sorts of signs alerting people.
‘Anyway, there are no motorcycles or vehicles allowed on any Byron beaches except in an emergency,’ she said.
Ms Gardner said it made her wonder how often such activity takes place unmonitored.
‘Our group has been monitoring hotspots in the regions, meaning we had about a couple of dozen people in 20 different places just checking the conditions in the channels.
‘One of the teams was at the mouth of the Belongil [on Saturday]. They were taking photos of different things that were going on and as they were there these motorcyclists came across on the beach – right through the resting birds and took off down towards Main Beach.
‘I alerted the folks over at Marine Parks, and they said if anybody recognised any of them they would be keen to talk to them.
‘I think a bit of publicity might help too – if they see their own photo up there they might think, “oops, better not do that again”,’ she said.
If anyone has any information about the bikers in the photograph, Marine Parks can be contacted on (02) 6630 9320.