By Charlie Campbell
March 3, 2015

An amateur photographer in the U.K. captured the snap of his lifetime on Monday when he witnessed a weasel clinging onto a woodpecker’s back mid-flight.

Martin Le-May from Essex near London said he was first alerted to the bird’s “distressed squawking” at Hornchurch Country Park after the tiny carnivore apparently pounced on it in search of a meal.

“The bird flew across us and slightly in our direction,” he told ITV News. “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 Le-May and his wife, at which point the weasel seemed to get distracted and momentarily let go of its quarry.

“Quickly the bird gathered its self respect and flew up into the trees and away from our sight,” adds Le-May. “The woodpecker left with its life, the weasel just disappeared into the long grass, hungry.”

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Write to Charlie Campbell at charlie.campbell@time.com.

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