It is a small bird with fairly short legs and dark yellow feet. It has claws with a pale base and dark tip. In winter the plumage is duller and in flight a wide white band is observed on the wings that contrasts with the rest of the dark feathers
During breeding he prefers rivers, reservoirs and streams, where he occupies sandbanks or gravel accumulation. In migration and wintering it also occupies estuaries, marshes, beaches and rocky areas.