Gray above; beneath white (winter): or brown above, the feathers edged with rufous; beneath red (summer): a transverse white bar on the wings.
P. platyrhinchus, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. II. p. 712. Gray Phalarope, Mont. Orn. Diet. Selb. Illust. vol. II. p. 162. pl. 28. Red and Gray Phalaropes, Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. II. pp. 146, & 147.
Entire length eight inches six or nine lines. Temm.
(Winter plumage). Forehead and crown white; occiput, ear-coverts, and a streak down the nape of the neck, dusky gray; sides of the breast, back, scapulars, and rump, bluish ash, with the shafts of the feathers dusky; some of the scapulars tipped with white; wing-coverts the same, forming a transverse bar on the wing: throat, sides of the neck, middle of the breast, and all the other under parts, pure white: tail dusky gray, the feathers edged with cinereous: bill yellowish red at the base, dusky brown at the tip: irides reddish yellow: legs greenish gray. (Summer plumage). Forehead, throat, crown, and occiput, deep grayish ash; region of the eyes, and sides of the occiput, white: sides and fore part of the neck, breast, belly, and abdomen, brick-red: nape, back, scapulars, and upper tail-coverts, dusky brown, all the feathers broadly edged with reddish yellow; wing-coverts black, tipped with white; rump white, spotted with black. (Young of the year, before the first moult). " Occiput, and a streak over the eyes, dusky: nape, back, scapulars, and upper tail-coverts, cinereous brown; the feathers on the back and scapulars broadly edged with yellowish; rump white, variegated with brown; wing-coverts edged and tipped with yellowish white; tail cinereous brown, the middle feathers with a broad yellowish edging: forehead, throat, sides and front of the neck, breast, and other under parts, pure white: bill cinereous brown: feet greenish yellow." Temm. (Egg). Stone-colour, tinged with green; blotched and spotted all over with blackish brown: long. diam. one inch two lines; trans, diam. ten lines and a half.
A rare and occasional visitant in this country, but has been killed in several instances and in widely separated localities. Said to be not uncommon in some seasons on the coast of Cornwall. Very abundant in the arctic regions, and in the eastern parts of Europe and Asia, where it is supposed to breed. Inhabits the borders of rivers and large lakes. Swims with great facility, and preys upon marine and other aquatic insects. Obs. The Red Phalarope of Bewick is this species in summer plumage.