Wildlife photographer breaks down in tears after spotting orcas after FOUR days of searching

Wildlife photographer breaks down in tears after spotting orcas after FOUR days of searching

A wildlife photographer on an expedition off the coast of the world-famous John o’ Groats was reduced to tears after she finally spotted a pair of orcas.

The footage shows Rosie Barrett, 25, collapsing as she spots several orcas in Scottish coastal waters from the deck of a hastily booked ferry.

Rosie switches between the orcas in the water, then captures her emotional reaction where she is seen crying.

She explained that she had been looking for orcas for FOUR days with no luck – up to this point – due to bad weather.

Rosie said: “We were having really bad weather so I had about a week off. I decided to travel to John o’ Groats in northern Scotland to try and spot some orcas, having heard of many great sightings from the Orcawatch event. .

“After four days I got a cry from a Facebook group that there were orcas near where I was already filming seabirds for my YouTube channel.

“I ran off a cliff to join a crowd of people watching Orca at sea. I couldn’t believe they were there.

“I was messaging my colleague about the sighting and he suggested I try to take a ferry trip with John o’ Groats Ferries.

“I ran to the ferry office and bought a ticket knowing this was a risk as the Orca could easily move quickly out of the area.

“I was the only passenger on the ferry when we were picking up guests from Orkney on the other side.

“On the way, I was looking at the big dorsal fins of the orca and after about fifteen minutes of no sightings. I didn’t think this was going to happen.

“Suddenly, to the left of the ferry, I saw two dorsal fins sticking out of the water and immediately signaled to the captain.

“He did everything he could to make sure I could take pictures of the Orca.

“He stopped the boat and we waited until they came to us and we saw them show up a few times before we had to leave.

“I was thrilled and emotional and wanted to document that by filming.

“After taking photos and sending them to my colleague, he was able to identify them as individuals ‘Hulk’ and ‘Nott’ using the ‘Scottish Killer Whale Photo Identification Catalog’ of which he co-authored.”

Rosie is a self-taught wildlife photographer and filmmaker who originally hails from Benfleet, Essex but now lives in Gairloch, Scotland, where she also works for Hebridean Whale Cruises.

Her passion for documenting wildlife began six years ago and continues to this day as she continues to travel the country capturing photos and videos of animals on land and at sea.

She was even nominated for the Natural History Museum’s ‘Rising Star’ award for 2022.

Rosie said: “I’ve always loved animals since I was young as I grew up with so many around me.

“My grandmother always liked her wild life and that resonated with me too.

“Growing up watching the David Attenborough and Deadly 60 documentaries with Steve Backshall was also a huge part of my journey in inspiring me to make what I am today.”

Rosie prides herself on photographing animals such as deer, otters, sandpipers, seals, mink on land and even more at sea, which include basking sharks, humpback whales and leatherback turtles.

The UK is home to a small number of resident orcas, which frequent the waters off northern Scotland.

“Orcas are usually found in UK waters. I wouldn’t say they’re rare, however it’s not something you’ll see every day.

“We are incredibly lucky to receive many different pods from overseas who are seasonal visitors and are mainly in the Shetlands, Orkney and the north coast of Scotland.

Other footage captured by Rosie shows her aboard the ferry, where she sees more orcas, three days after the original video.

She added: “I was struggling with my mental health and needed to get out into nature.

“Nothing makes me feel better than when I’m surrounded by wildlife.

“I will never forget the moment I saw my first orca in 2018 with Basking Shark Scotland and dreamed of having that amazing feeling again as orcas are such spectacular creatures to see in the wild.

“Emotion completely overwhelmed me as I realized that hard work and perseverance to overcome mental health issues led to seeing something so incredible.”

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