Bill nearly straight, a little longer than the head: the two middle tail-feathers longer than the others, and pointed: a small part of the tibia naked: tarsus eleven lines and a half.
T. variabilis, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. II. p. 612. Dunlin and Purre, Mont. Orn. Diet. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. II. pp. 102, & 104. Dunlin, Selb. lllust. vol. II. p. 153. pl. 26.
Entire length seven inches nine lines: length of the bill (from the forehead) one inch three lines, (from the gape) one inch two lines and a half; of the tarsus eleven lines and a half; of the naked part of the tibia three lines; of the tail two inches one line; from the carpus to the end of the wing four inches eight lines: breadth, wings extended, fourteen inches seven lines.
(Winter plumage). Throat, and a streak from the base of the upper mandible to the eye, pure white: head, back of the neck, and all the upper parts, cinereous brown, the shafts of the feathers being of a darker tint; quills dusky; greater wing-coverts tipped with white: lower part of the neck and breast grayish white, mottled with pale cinereous brown; belly, vent, and under tail-coverts, pure white: rump and two middle tail-feathers dusky brown; the other tail-feathers brownish ash, edged with white: bill black: irides and legs dusky brown. (Summer plumage). Throat white; cheeks, sides and fore part of the neck, and breast, reddish white, with fine longitudinal streaks of black; belly and abdomen, during the period of incubation, deep black, but afterwards mixed with white: crown of the head black, the feathers edged with reddish brown; back, scapulars, and lesser wing-coverts, deep black, all the feathers broadly edged with reddish brown, and tipped with grayish white; quills and greater coverts dusky brown, the latter tipped with white: two middle tail-feathers blackish brown; the rest cinereous edged with white. (Spring and autumn, at the time of change). Throat and eye-streak white; upper parts dusky brown, the feathers edged with reddish yellow; amongst them several cinereous brown, as in winter: wing-coverts wholly cinereous brown, without any red: neck and breast reddish yellow, spotted with brown; belly white, more or less spotted and blotched with dusky brown; vent and under tail-coverts pure white. Obs. The female is somewhat larger than the male, and has a longer bill. In young birds, the bill is nearly straight. (Egg). Greenish white, blotched and spotted with two shades of dark red brown: long. diam. one inch four lines and a half; trans, diam. eleven lines and a half.
A common species on all parts of the coast during the greater part of the year. At the approach of the breeding season, retires to inland marshes and the banks of rivers. Lays four eggs. Food, worms and insects. Obs. The Purre of authors is this species in its winter plumage.