The black forehead line that extends behind the eye to the nape is distinctive when this species is breeding. The breast is variably creamy buff to chestnut, and there is a dark shoulder patch. The head is less well marked in non-breeding plumage, with the pale buffy ring around the crown extending to the nape. There is a dark eye patch at all times.
Juvenile may be distinguished from juvenile White-fronted Plover by the broad, buffy eyebrow stripe extending onto the buffy (not white) nape.
Found throughout in dried muddy or short grassy areas near water; also on mudflats in estuaries and coastal lagoons.
A short, clipped trill 'kittip'.