Hopefully a new RAS (retrapping adults for survival) will help answer some of these questions and with the cooperation of the RSPB a ringing study has started with a sample of 50 adult birds being ringed with metal BTO rings on one leg and orange flags with a two letter code on the other.
Last time I visited the Skerries was in 2005 when a Sooty Tern arrived among the breeding colony. We chartered a fishing boat from Amlwch and although we were not allowed to land we were allowed to moor in the sheltered bay and had fantastic views of this rare visitor as it flew round our boat.
Recently I was lucky enough to be invited by Rachel & Steve to join them on a trip to ring a sample of 500 Arctic tern chicks. What an experience!
We took a boat from Holyhead harbour that was taking the food supplies across to the wardens and bringing off one of the relief wardens. It turned into a beautiful day with a slight swell. As we got closer to the islands rafts of Puffins, Guillemots and Razorbills flew off the sea in front of us and terns filled the air.
Panoramic shot below:
Below is a short video giving you some idea what its like to be in the middle of an Arctic Tern colony!