A 6-km-long tidal inlet parallel to the coast, open to the sea at the northern end and protected by a long, sandy barrier beach, with extensive intertidal mudflats and minimal build-up of fresh water. The site is sheltered by dunes with much shrubby salt-tolerant vegetation, otherwise the surroundings are very flat and sandy. Human population density is generally low in the region, although the small, new township of Al Kahil is nearby. People fish offshore for local markets, and there may be some recreational use by expatriates from southern oil-fields.
See box for key species. The site supports far greater numbers of wintering and passage waterbirds than any khawr further south in Oman. Other notable wintering species include Platalea leucorodia (max. 110), Phoenicopterus ruber (1,500, November), Pandion haliaetus (21, February), Recurvirostra avosetta (104), Calidris ferruginea (3,000, December) and Arenaria interpres (234). The site is rather underwatched due to its remoteness.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Khawr Ghawi. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 04/12/2020.