Small, slim warbler with a long tail. Males are distinctive with gray upperbody contrasting with rufous puffy throat and breast. Belly whiter and white moustache broader in eastern race. Female plumage like a washed-out version of the males. Typically found in scrubby, dense, bushy habitats but also in more open woodland. Sings from the tops of bushes, a rattling and loud series of "tjrek" and rattling dry "tek" calls.