Size: L: 20 cm. Wt: 55 g. Males and females are dimorphic in breeding plumage pattern. This species is seasonally dimorphic.
Breeding Male: upperparts pale grey-brown, with black band across forehead, and black ring around back and upper breast; underparts white; bill short, straight, red-orange with black tip; legs orange
Breeding Female: similar to male, but black ring incomplete across breast
Winter Adult/Juvenile: upperparts pale grey-brown, with white forehead and face, and smudgy white line over eye; grey-brown of back extends in a smudge onto upper breast; underparts white; bill blackish; legs orange
Nestling: precocial and downy; underparts white, with white collar around hind-neck; back and upper parts of head speckled with buff and grey, with dark spots; forehead whitish; dark spots on wings and thighs; bill dark; legs long, grey