Smaller than the Greenshank but with dark, needlethin bill. Neatly marked grey above with darker wing shoulder; cap and hind neck are grey; rest of underparts white. In breeding season darker and more marked above; head and neck heavily streaked. Long white back stripe and no wing bars. Feeds on aquatic invertebrates, stepping delicately through water. Mixes with other waders. Fairly tame.
Inhabits shallow freshwater jheels, village ponds, wet paddy and river shoals.
Fairly common winter visitor throughout lowlands. Less common on coasts.
Rather quiet. A briefly repeated klew, rather like first note of Common Redshank.