Woodpecker and weasel: This is what the photographer has to say about the incredible picture

‘The woodpecker left with its life, the weasel disappeared hungry’

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Tuesday 03 March 2015 11:35 GMT
The baby weasel on the back of the woodpecker
The baby weasel on the back of the woodpecker (All pictures by Martin Le-May )

You've almost certainly seen this crop up in your Twitter feed more than once.

It's a picture of a weasel riding a woodpecker. And it's pretty incredible.

This is what the amateur photographer who took it, Martin Le-May, has to say about it:

"It was a sunny afternoon, with the occasional cloud making the Hornchurch Country Park seem that grey-brown dull winter colour even though it was the 2 March.

My wife, Ann, and I had gone for a walk. I had hoped that she might see a green woodpecker as she has not really seen one before.

The woodpecker was seen 'unnaturally hopping about' © Martin Le-May (Martin Le-May)

"As we walked we heard a distressed squawking and I saw that flash of green. So, hurriedly, I pointed out to Ann the bird and it settled into the grass behind a couple of small silver birch trees. Both of us trained our binoculars and it occurred that the woodpecker was unnaturally hopping about like it was treading on a hot surface. Lots of wing flapping showing that gloriously yellow/white colour interspersed with the flash of red head feathers. Just after I switched from my binoculars to my camera the bird flew across us and slightly in our direction; suddenly it was obvious it had a small mammal on its back and this was a struggle for life.

© Martin Le-May (Martin Le-May)

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