Incredible photo of weasel riding on woodpecker's back parodied online

ESSEX - An amateur photographer's incredible shot of a weasel hitching a ride on a flying woodpecker's back has become a viral smash hit.

The image was captured by Martin Le-May at Hornchurch Country Park in east London on Monday.

Mr Le-May told the BBC in an interview that he was out walking with his wife when he heard a "distressed squawking noise".

"I soon realised it was a woodpecker with some kind of small mammal on its back."

The stunning image has spawned a rash of hilarious memes with the hashtag #weaselpecker.

Netizens quickly put their photoshop skills to good use, replacing the weasel with a host of other riders, including wizard Gandalf the Grey from the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, Russian president Vladimir Putin, US singer Miley Cyrus and Chelsea captain John Terry.

mklee@sph.com.sg