15 September 2012

Khafrah Marsh - Location Details

Khafrah Marsh (26° 48’N, 49° 34’E) is an extensive reed-swamp of Phragmites australis reed-beds covering an area of approximately 300 hectares, with a permanent water supply that merges into a playa lake fed mainly by winter rainfall. The wetland lies in a dip within the Al Jafurah desert, a northerly extension of the Rub al-Khali. It is at a junction between the high unstable sand dunes of the Al Jufrah proper and the low stable dunes of the hummock and hollow variety, with salt-bushes and some clumps of Panicum grass. These stable low dunes are much over-grazed but in the immediate vicinity of Khafrah Marsh the vegetation is more verdant with a rich ground flora and an abundance of tamarisk shrubs and small palms. There is no reed-mace present at this site but small stunted tamarisk bushes grow along parts of the reed-swamp edge. Water quality is as follows: Nitrate 2 mg/l, Kjeldahl Nitrogen 1.1 mg/l, Phosphorous 0.2 mg/l, toal dissolved solids 4220 mg/l, pH 7.3 and Oxygen 50% of saturation value. The site is easily reached from Dammam / Dhahran / Al Khobar by following the Abu Hadryah Highway towards Kuwait. After about 95 kilometres you will see the extensive marsh on both sides of the road, but mainly on the left as you are driving to Juabil and Kuwait. The site attracts a few good birds but has many less than the nearby Sabkhat Al Fasl.


Egyptian Nightjar
Western Marsh Harrier
Glossy Ibis
Great Crested Grebe
Purple Swamphen (breeding)
Little Grebe
Passage Waders & Terns