Body length: 60 cm. Wingspan: 111 cm. Plumage: has seasonal and slight age dimorphism. The adults in winter have grey-brownish upperparts finely speckled with white and white underparts. Bright plumage in summer; cheeks and neck grey at sides, with a rufous patch on the throat. Juveniles resemble the adults in winter but the throat and neck grey in front, without the rufous patch. The bill uptilted and pointing slightly upwards, the forehead – flat, the back raised at its back-side. Biotope: mainly seashores, rarely larger inland water basins.