Fairly common to locally common in fresh and coastal wetlands; also breeds locally on moorland, usually near water. Migrant and winter flocks of hundreds occur locally on tidal mudflats. Feeds in muddy shallows, probing and picking with its bill. Rather stocky and overall gray-brown, with bright orange-red legs. Often rather wary, alerting other birds with its loud, fluty, whistled calls. Bobs tail when nervous, and then flies to show flashy white trailing edge to wings, white rump patch.