Uncommon to locally fairly common summer migrant to southern Europe from winter grounds in Africa and Iberia. Favors fresh marshes, lakes, and ponds with reeds and other surrounding vegetation. Tends to hunt rather sluggishly, hunched quietly at edge of water. At rest appears buffy brown overall, but in flight transforms to mostly white when white wings and tail are revealed. Breeding adult has rich buffy neck; nonbreeding and immature have streaked neck.