There is a stretch of the Sill River where, in the winter, White-throated Dippers (Cinclus cinclus
; in German Wasseramsel
or “water blackbird”) bob along the rocks and dive right into the icy waters for food. They are hard to see — I scan the rocks for what looks like a white ping-pong ball, and then try to make out the bird behind it. They were nowhere to be seen during the summer and fall, I assume they’d flown upstream into more alpine regions to breed and raise their young. Since last week, though, they’re back in town, chattering away on the river bank, watching for aquatic critters to eat.
Yes, I am some kind of nature nerd.