The scaling on the upper parts is conspicuous. The black bill may show an orange or reddish base. Leg colour is variable, often orange or reddish. In flight the white, oval patch on either side of the dark rump is diagnostic.
Male sometimes has a white head and neck during the non-breeding season. Juvenile resembles non-breeding adult but is buffier.
Vleis, lakes, estuaries and adjecent grassy areas.
Largely silent in the region.