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This inland lake was bought in 1988 by the Departmental Council of Ille-et-Vilaine to establish an ornithological reserve. Trails allow birders to walk around the lake and two hides have been set up.
The lake is only about a 40-minute ride from downtown Rennes.
To get there, from the Rennes ringroad (Rocade) take the Lorient exit (N24), turning off for Le Verger/Monterfil and following the D40 to Monterfil. From there, just follow the signs for Domaine de Careil.
Over 150 species have been seen at Careil.
Spring and Summer
Careil is a major breeding ground for Tufted Duck in Western France. Gadwall, Northern Shoveler and Mallard also breed here and a few Garganeys are regularly seen.
The site is also home for small colony of Black-winged Stilts since 2014.
Three Grebe species can also be observed (Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe and Great Crested Grebe) and a few waders can stop by during passage.
Other birds can be seen while walking around the lake such as : Melodious Warbler, Reed Bunting, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Short-toed Treecreeper, Hobby and Common Buzzard...
Little Owl has also been observed in the surrounding countryside.
A good variety of waders can be observed on passage but in small numbers, they include : Spotted Redshanks and Common Redshanks, Common Greenshank, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Dunlin, Common Snipe...
Most of the common Duck species can be seen in Autumn.
Other birds include : Osprey, Whinchat, Cattle Egret, Great White Egret and Black Tern.
The lake hold good numbers of Ducks in Winter such as : Common Teal, Northern Pintail, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Wigeon, Tufted Duck, Common Pochard...
Big flocks of Northern Lapwing and European Golden Plovers often rest on the small islands in the middle of the lake or in the surrounding fields.
Common Kingfisher and Great Cormorants often perch on the poles in front of the hides
All four european Thrushes species can be seen while Short-toed Treecreeper, Common Firecrest, Goldcrest and Great Spotted Woodpecker forage in the neighboring vegetation.
Franklin's Gull, White-rumped Sandpiper and Green-winged Teal have been observed. Other rarities include : Glossy Ibis, Eurasian Dotterel, Caspian Tern, Temminck's Stint, Red-necked Phalarope, Black Stork, Marsh Sandpiper...
Birds you can see here include:
History and Use
Areas of Interest
Access and Facilities
Access is via a paved road, leading to a gravelled parking area on the right for 20-30 vehicles, surrounded by high hedges. Access to one hide is via a well-maintained boardwalk, to the other via a lakeside track. There is a shelter by the car park with a covered patio area featuring information boards about the Domaine and its wildlife.