The Nabokovs have lived in Montreux for nine years. Recently, TIME Reporter Martha Duffy visited them there. Here are a few of her impressions:
"Choughs! Choughs! Alpine choughs!
A little black bird with a yellow bill. A lacquered yellow bill. And red feet."
"Oh, chuffs," the heedless visitor says.
"Aren't they crows?"
"A crow? a CROW? No, no, no, no, no, my goodness no, not a crow at all. They emit a beautiful sound, a sort of kissing soundchwink, chwinkwhich a crow cannot even approach. Pity is that they do it right on my window sill...