Shaun was taking photographs of this sandpiper when she was joined by an admirer. I love the expression on her face! Maybe I’m being anthropomorphic, but she seems as surprised by having company as Shaun was.
From later shots that Shaun took, it looks like this may be part of a mating ritual. I know that this is the time of year that sandpipers build their nests. They have an irritating habit of placing them at ground level, in the middle of fields that we normally would use for shortcuts on our walks. The sandpiper parent(s) will pop up in front of you and do the injured bird routine to lure you away from the nest. I’m always so nervous about the idea of stepping on their eggs that I’ve stopped walking through fields at this time of year unless there is a clearly marked trail.
Please look at this in full view to see the details better.
Photo taken in Plains, Montana (USA), by Shaun Emerson in May, 2011, with a Nikon CoolPix P90 camera.