Netizens all over the world went `oooh aaaah so cute’ over a picture of what seemed like a squirrel piggy-backing on a kingfisher.
However, unknown to many of them, there was a more sinister side to that picture. That squirrel was actually a carnivorous weasel that was actually trying to murder the poor bird for food, ninja style!
Amateur photographer Martin Le-May of Essex took the picture and tweeted it. It almost immediately went viral and some pointed it and said, “Awwww, lewk @ thoze fwends on a nice Mondee afternoons ride!” But Martin tells ITV News that the woodpecker is screaming in distress as the weasel tries to take it down and eat it. Martin says he was taking a stroll with his wife when they heard the woodpecker screaming, “Bitch, get off of me!”
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 and his wife thought it was the end for the green woodpecker, but it was able to get away.
The woodpecker landed in front of us and I feared the worst. I guess though our presence, maybe 25 metres away, momentarily distracted the weasel. The woodpecker seized the opportunity and flew up and away into some bushes away to our left. Quickly the bird gathered its self respect and flew up into the trees and away from our sight.
The woodpecker left with its life, the weasel just disappeared into the long grass, hungry.