Essex photographer Martin Le-May captured this epic moment on Monday, in which a weasel is soaring on the back of a woodpecker. It was Tweeted out by birder/wildlife photographer Jason Ward where it quickly went viral and had many people wondering if it was real or photoshopped. It’s apparently very real.
Le-May described the moment to ITV, where he also submitted some other shots from the sequence:
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.
He added that the woodpecker managed to get away, while the weasel wandered off into the grass.
Real or not, you can’t put a picture like that online and expect to walk away meme-free.
Here are some of the best responses from Twitter of the #WeaselPecker: