Size: L: 25 cm. Wt: Males: 150 g. Females: 125 g. Males and females are slightly dimorphic in size, but not in colour. This species is seasonally dimorphic.

Breeding Adult: upperparts dappled brown and grey, with some tawny markings, a white wing-bar, and blackish primaries; head reddish, with brownish mottling on forehead, crown, and nape; underparts reddish, except undertail coverts, which are white; tail with dark grey-brown terminal band; bill long, thick, straight, black; legs dull greenish

Winter Adult: upperparts pale grey, with white wing-bar and blackish primaries; head grey, with broad, white crescent over eye, and whitish throat; breast grey; flanks, belly, and undertail coverts white; tail pale grey; bill and legs as in breeding adult

Juvenile: upperparts grey, with dark edgings on most feathers, white wing-bar, and dark grey primaries; head greyish-brown, with mottling on crown and nape; breast pale greyish; flanks, belly, and undertail coverts whitish, may have some sparse, pale grey-brown speckling; tail pale grey; bill and legs as in adults