Fairly common in the high Andes of central Chile and adjacent Argentina, where found at bogs, lakeshores, and along streams, usually with rocky slopes nearby. Migrates in winter to coast, where it occurs on rocky beaches. Relatively small and sprightly, often flicking wings and cocking its tail strongly, unlike the larger Dark-bellied and Seaside Cinclodes, which occur alongside in winter. Dark-bellied has bolder white head stripes and gray flanks (flanks brown on Gray-flanked!). Told from Buff-winged Cinclodes by colder plumage tones and white-streaked breast.