It won't be the dreams of WB Yeats that will be spread under the feet of Far North beachgoers this summer, but the next generation of one of New Zealand's most endangered birds.
And, like the English poet, DOC is asking those who might inadvertently do harm to tread carefully.
The northern New Zealand dotterel population, which now stands at around 1500, was under threat from dogs, vehicles, and even people out walking, DOC Bay of Islands ranger Cinzia Vestena said.
The birds nested in shallow scrapes in the sand just above the high-tide mark, laying eggs that blended into the surrounding sand, which made them difficult to see. The eggs were so well camouflaged that they, and even chicks, could be run over or trodden on.
"So we ask that while you enjoy the beach, please tread lightly in areas above the high tide mark," Ms Vestena said.
Dotterels have pale grey backs with an off-white belly which flushes rusty-orange in winter and spring. Although the birds have prominent heads, large brown eyes and a strong black bill, their colours merge with the sand, shells and dune plants. Their 'chip chip' call is often heard before they are seen.
Ms Vestena urged beach-goers to look out for "Birds Nesting" signs, and to stay out of areas that had been fenced off.
"We also ask that people keep dogs, vehicles and boats off the beaches and sandspits where dotterels are nesting, especially during the September-February breeding season," she said, adding that if a dotterel appeared to be dragging a broken wing it would probably be pretending to be injured to lure a threat away from its nest.
Anyone who saw a bird faking an injury should move away from the area quickly. The bird would not return to its nest while a person or predator was nearby, so its eggs could over-heat or become chilled, killing the chicks.
Intensive land use, predators and disturbance by people were the main reasons for the decline in dotterel numbers, Ms Vestena said. The birds' survival in Northland depended on trained individuals and community groups.
"They help by taking time and energy to put up rope fences around breeding sites, put up signage, trap for predators, move nests when a storm or a high tide coincides with a low pressure system, and generally keep an eye out for the birds," she said.
This breeding season many Northland beaches would display signs informing visitors how many breeding pairs of dotterel were there, as well as the numbers of nests, eggs, chicks and fledglings.
Many dotterels now have coloured plastic bands on their legs, part of long-term research to learn about their lifespan, movement patterns and breeding.