One of the commonest birds in upland britian it is a small brown streaky bird with a loud 'piping' call as it flies. In flight it shows white outer tail feathers and in the breeding season it has a fluttering 'parachute' display flight. In winter they are quite gregarious and gather in small flocks, often invisible among the vegetation, suddenly flying up with typical jerky flight.
In the breeding season it can be found on upland moorland, heathland, fens, grassland, flood meadows and coastal marshes. In winter it moves to lower pastures, rivers and coastal areas. In severe winters it may even be seen in parks.
Its diet consists of Insects - flies, beetles and moths - and spiders.