Plumage is rather dark overall, grayish above and dull wine-red below; note narrow red eyering and fairly bright yellowish legs. No similar species in most of its range. Skulking and difficult to see well, although when singing in spring may perch atop a bush, the long tail often held slightly cocked. Song is composed of short whistles and harsher rattles; calls are dry and scolding. Breeds in dense scrubby habitats, especially heathland with gorse. Winters in similar habitats, albeit averaging more open and occasionally grassy.