03 Mar 2015

Photo of the Week

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WoodpeckerWeasel

This photo of a weasel (looks like Mustela nivalis) riding on a Green Woodpecker (Picus viridus) is going viral.

Buzzfeed:

East London resident Martin Le-May captured this incredible photo of a baby weasel on the back of a green woodpecker in Essex, England, on Monday

As much as we’d all like to believe this is a wondrous tale of friendship wherein two mates go on an epic adventure featuring a baby weasel and his magnificent flying steed, sadly it’s NOT.

It’s a photo of a weasel trying to kill a woodpecker. …

Le-May, a hobby photographer, was taking a walk with his wife through the Hornchurch Country Park in east London in the hopes of her seeing a green woodpecker for the first time. …

    “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.

    The woodpecker landed in front of us and I feared the worst. I guess though our presence, maybe 25 meters 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.”

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“Life and death upon one tether / And running beautiful together.” | From the Trenches World Report

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