BIRDS OF CORREGIDOR
 

Text and Photos by Ely Teehankee

 

After about 15 years I was able to return to historic Corregidor also known as the "Rock". It was refreshing to see the War Memorial with the massive steel art structure of the Eternal Flame in memory of all the brave men & women who died for our Country's freedom. There is also the big concrete dome that has a hole on top of it so that at high noon every April 9, the sun would shine right on top of the marble altar that is at the bottom of the center of the dome. I took the Ferry of the Sun Cruise and was surprised to see more than a hundred people who were going to go there for the day just to see this historical place. Upon getting your ticket they will give you a name tag with your seat number on it. The ticket comes with a round trip ticket to Corregidor together with a ticket for the buffet lunch. When you check in your luggage they will give you a luggage claim tag. The trip is 1 hour & 45 minutes. Upon our arrival we boarded a vehicle in the shape of a Tram via. You will see some of the 23 batteries consisting of 56 coastal guns and mortars. The longest are the two 12 inch guns of Batteries Hearn & Smith. I stayed at the Corregidor Inn which has 31 rooms. It is air conditioned and kept very clean. My daughter who went with me took the optional tour of Light & Sound Show, the 90 minutes walk with a guide on a trail, and the Zip Line that gives you the thrill of flying above ground while you are strapped and hanging on a cable that gives you a downhill ride of about 200 meters. There is also Rock Balancing introduced by our own Tita Lyds. The stones that are used are called Bloodstones because they are white in color with a red splatter design on it. When it gets wet it looks like blood stain. There is a Sunrise tour and a Sunset tour which are both beautiful. As for me the best part of the tour were the abundant birds that are on the Island in the shape of a tadpole that is about 6 kilometers long and about 2 kilometers at its widest point. There are the usual common birds of Brown Shrike, Zebra Dove, Collared Kingfishers, Asian Glossy Starlings, but I was surprised to see a lot of the not so common Emerald Dove, Pick Necked Green Pigeon, and Black Nape Orioles. I would like to share with you the birds that I saw at the "Rock". From ruins after the war it is now full of trees and birds among the artillery and ruins. It would be nice to go back.
 

Canon EOS 1D Mark IV, Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM, Benro Transfunctional C2691TB1 Tripod, Benro Gimbal Head GH-2. Manual exposure in available light. Whenever I see birds along the way I would use the car window with foam bag as lens support.