It’s an image that has taken the social media world by storm. A weasel apparently taking a cheeky ride on the back of a somewhat reluctant woodpecker.

Martin’s incredible image has been viewed more than 1.5 million times on the Buzzfeed website (above) since he shot it on Monday afternoon [Photo credit: Martin Le-May]

NEWS UPDATE 5 MARCH 2015: Photographer reveals how his photo might never have seen fame

It was captured by Martin Le-May, 52, while out walking with his wife Ann at Hornchurch Country Park in Essex.

Amateur Photographer (AP) magazine managed to track down the keen photo enthusiast as he was waiting for a cab to take him to a TV news studio where he was due to talk about his now-famous shot.

Martin explained that he used a Canon EOS 70D and 300mm f/2.8 lens and has been a photography enthusiast for the past 12 years. He captured the photo using the camera’s programme mode.

Martin, whose day job is a project manager, revealed that he has never had a picture published ever before, apart from images posted on Flickr.

‘I took some of some friends at a charity football match in Charlton,’ said Martin who seemed taken aback that his weasel-on-woodpecker sensation has so far been viewed more than 1.5 million times on Buzzfeed (see above).

Martin told AP that no Photoshop was involved, the only change he made being to crop the image.

He said he first thought that the animal in the photo – the third in a series of shots – was a ‘stoat’.

The bird had settled on grass behind silver birch trees when he spotted the woodpecker hopping about in a strange manner.

‘There was something on its back,’ Martin told AP.

That thing turned out to be a weasel… now the most famous one on the planet it seems.

  • Commenterio

    Yet another photographer of a viral photo being majorly exploited by thousands of media companies worldwide using his photo and not caring to mention he’s entitled to payment.

  • Alan Peterson

    It’s not too difficult to ferret out the identifying characteristics.

  • Andrew Cliffe

    Weasels are weasily recognised, but stoats are stoatally different.