Size: L: 35 cm. Wt: 170 g. Males and females are similar. This species is seasonally dimorphic.

Breeding Adult: back and wings mottled dark brown and black, with fine rows of white spots; head heavily streaked dark brown, with white lores and fine white eye ring; breast heavily streaked with dark brown; sides and belly usually spotted and barred, but may be white; bill long, slightly upturned, dark; legs long, yellow to red-orange

Winter Adult: back and wings dark brown, feathers edged in fine white spots; head streaked pale brown, with white lores and fine white eye ring; breast and sides faintly streaked with pale brown; belly white; bill and legs as in breeding adult

Juvenile: back and wings dark brown, with golden-brown spotting; head streaked brown, with white lores and fine white eye ring; breast and sides streaked and spotted brown; belly white; bill and legs as in adults, but bill may be paler towards base