Stunning image captured by photographer Martin Le-May, who said small mammal pounced on green woodpecker
Mr Le-May, 52, who enjoys photography as a hobby, said the response to the photograph had been ‘mind-blowing’
This is the incredible moment a woodpecker was caught on camera giving a small weasel a lift on its back.
The stunning photograph shows the tiny brown animal clinging to the back of the green woodpecker as it takes flight across Hornchurch Country Park in east London.
Although all appears rather amicable in the incredible image, amateur photographer Martin Le-May said the small mammal had actually pounced on the bird as its next victim.
The incredible photograph shows the tiny brown weasel clinging to the back of the green woodpecker as it takes flight across Hornchurch Country Park in east London.
The 52-year-old, who enjoys photography as a hobby, told MailOnline: ‘We decided we fancied popping out yesterday afternoon and my wife has never seen a green woodpecker in the wild before and I knew of this place so we just went there for a walk.
‘We had been there for about 20 minutes, and had seen some other birds, when we heard this sort of distressed squawking.
‘Out of the bushes flew a woodpecker so I said to my wife: “There’s a green woodpecker”.
‘It flew in front of us and we could see it through the trees. It was hopping around on the ground acting very, very strangely and still making this squawking noise.
‘I decided to pick my camera up to have a look and just as I picked up the camera it flew off so I just started snapping at it as it came across in front of us.’
It was at that point Mr Le-May said he noticed the small animal on the back of the bird and realised it was either a stoat or a weasel.
He said: ‘I said to my wife: “It has something on its back and I think it’s a stoat or weasel”.
‘The bird landed about 20 metres in front of us and I said to my wife that there’s a chance this weasel could eat the woodpecker.
‘But as we walked towards it, I think we distracted the weasel and the woodpecker flew off back into the bushes where it had originally come from. It initially settled down on the grass but then a few seconds later it flew off into the trees.
‘We walked further up to where it had all happened and couldn’t see any sign of the weasel so I assume it had ran back off into the grass, hungry.’
‘It looked as good as it could have considering it had just escaped being eaten by a weasel.’