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The estuary

While the name "estuary" sounds somewhat grandiose, it’s really not the case. In Zarautz we call this stretch of water “kanala”, perhaps because of the walls channelling the river mouth, which were built in the early 20th century.

Here the tide flows with same force, mixing salt and fresh water. It drags in an enormous amount of material, stone, sand, etc. With so much muddy water, so much daily disorder (twice salty, another twice fresh, followed by dryness) there is no good habitat for plant species, although the same cannot be said of the animal life, various species of which abound. Opportunistic species like the seagulls gather together in large groups, turning their beaks to the wind to preen their feathers. The wading birds run up and down the shore dipping their bills into the sand for food. The voracious grey mullet colonizes these turbulent waters, eating everything it finds. Remains of shells indicate the existence of crustaceans. Godwits, worms, snails, sand fleas, etc., all typical inhabitants of the estuary, often leave visible traces of their having been present in the sand.


The estuary

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