This Mom is protecting four pups and only one of them should be actually her pup. This top picture shows her throwing sand as a sign of stress sometimes like now. This male, who is working on seeing if this female is ready to mate that he has his flipper over the back of, has gotten too close. She would be doing some of this even if she did not have pups and was not ready to be mated and sometimes even if she was. I always find is hilarious that in response to a 4 to 5 thousand pounds male, all testosteroned up, coming towards you, throwing sand is what you think will scare him away. It never, ever works. Not even with the smaller sub males that try to sneak in when the alpha males are not paying attention or may be busy themselves with a female.
Here another female has gotten into this Mom's personal space and she is warning her off. If the other female continues closer, biting and hitting each other with their necks . Much like the males when they are fighting. I will have to look at all my pictures but i do believe there was one point in time over the day and half that i was down there that i saw this Mom with a fifth pup.
As i mentioned below about the Mom with the three pups, this is not ideal in E-seal world. One pup is such a drain on the Mom while she is nursing it. Trying to nurse more that that one is increasing the odds that the Mom may become to emaciated to survive. Or she may not be able to continue to feed the pups to optimum growth and putting all of the pups at risk of dying. The E-seal females do not go back into the water once they come on the beach to give birth. They are usually on the beach a week to ten days before they give birth and then at least 28 days while they nurse the pup. So what energy is transferred to the pup is not going to be gained back by the Mom until she is able to get back out to sea.