If you didn’t know it’s a bank holiday weekend where have you been? We get an extra day to enjoy nature. Or that’s how I see it, anyway.

What shall we do with the extra day? How about spot a shark? If the weather’s nice (fingers crossed!) then a trip to the seaside is on the cards, surely? If your chosen spot is on the wild west of the UK (I mean the whole western side, from Cornwall all the way up past the Isle of Mull and even onto Orkney) then look out for the world’s second largest fish: the basking shark.

Real big fish

OK, it might not be the Californian ska-punkers, but weighing in at around seven tonnes and growing up to 11m long this is a real monster of a fish – the largest in the UK. Now’s a great time to spot them off our Western shores, as they migrate up the coast following their plankton food.

If you do happen to spot one of these giants hoovering up plankton (your view will probably be something like the image below), then let the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) know, and leave us a comment below. It would be a good thing if you could, as it’ll help increase our understanding of these mysterious creatures.

Basking shark - image by Alexandra Tinder (http://www.flickr.com/photos/alextinder/)

The MCS also plots recent sightings on a map, so why not take a look before you head off to the coast? It plots jellyfish and turtles too.

Turtles?

Yes turtles! You will have to be very lucky to see a marine turtle, but you never know. The most commonly encountered turtle in British waters is the mighty leatherback. Which just so happens to be my favourite turtle! These are the largest turtles in the world and turn up on our shores looking for jellyfish. If you see one, let me know, I’d love to spot one in the UK!

Even if you don’t see one of these giants this weekend, cheer up! There’s plenty of other great coastal wildlife about, so let me know what you saw. Whether it’s a giant fish, a massive turtle or a small hermit crab hiding in a rockpool, it’s all interesting.

Have a good one!