Sandgate is roughly 17 Km North of Brisbane CBD as the crow flies and a great place to see some Latham's Snipes, Bar-tailed Godwits and a variety of other migratory and resident wading shore birds.
The Hon. Greg Hunt, MP ( now ex ) Minister for the Environment has signed a new wildlife conservation plan [under Section 285 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth)] which came in to effect 21st December 2015.
The following paragraph is from the above mentioned document, page 18 (pdf page 16) -
... research suggests that disturbance from human activities has a high energetic cost to shorebirds and may compromise their capacity to build sufficient energy reserves to undertake migration (Goss-Custard et al. 2006; Weston et al. 2012). Disturbance which renders an area unusable is equivalent to habitat loss and can exacerbate population declines. Disturbance is greatest where increasing human populations and development pressures may have an impact on important habitats. Migratory shorebirds are most susceptible to disturbance during daytime roosting and foraging periods. As an example, disturbance of migratory shorebirds in Australia is known to result from aircraft over-flights, industrial operations and construction, artificial lighting, and recreational activities such as fishing, off-road driving on beaches, unleashed dogs and jet-skiing (Weston et al. 2012).
I have very pointedly highlighted "unleashed dogs" and I make no appology for this. My ( albeit limited ) observation and reading references to dogs running amok along the Sandgate-Brighton foreshore makes it clear that they cause by far the most disturbance to the birds.
Luckily I was able to get a couple of photos before the birds were scared away. I also saw 3 kite surfers taking advantage of the breeze but they were beyond the mud flats and created no disturbance.
Before anyone suggests that people like me who go to Sandgate to photograph the birds are causing a distubance, the photos of the Godwit and Silver Gull are cropped down from photos taken with the camera's lens zoomed to 1100mm (SLR equivalent ), similarly the photo of the Little Terns except 1440mm.
The man in these 3 photos clearly has no regard for anything / anyone but himself, he just doesn't give a F**K.
The dogs are quite large and as I watched they ( the dogs ) strayed far and wide displaying quite belligerent behaviour towards the godwits, eastern curlews and plovers all of which took flight.
Luckily there weren't many birds around when these photos were taken ( Friday 21st October 2016 ≈ 7:14 am )
At the point where the dogs were released this fellow could not have missed at least one advisory sign and one graphic clearly indicating that dogs are to kept on a leash.