For years, I have been looking for a field guide that covered a lot of species but had not-that-complicated text and good illustrations. As the time went on by, I finally understood that I couldn't find that kind of a guide in Turkey. So years passed and I had to go with Collins (which at the time was too complicated for me, but now my fav, guide) and Birdwatcher's Pocket Guide by Rob Hume (it was a good book but was a bit basic for my level).
Finally in the May of 2008 me and my family did a touristic trip to England, and I went to a bookstore in Oxford knowing the odds of finding a guide like that were high as England was the birding country of Europe. So I went to the section that was exclusive to ornithology books (never found in Turkey). As I was looking for a small but good-looking guide, my hand slipped over to this one. As I was looking through it's pages, I didn't think that this was the one, but I still bought it.
When we got back to Turkey I had more time to spend time with the stuff I bought and as I looked at this book more carefully I saw that it covered almost all of the breeding and regularly-seen species of Europe, accompanied by very rare vagrants, too. Despite it's text was basic it was good enough for you to ID the species you saw correctly. The illustrations were great, too!
That's when I understood that this was the one. I still use this sometimes, even though I now use mainly Collins, as I know enough English now to clearly understand it.
If you want that kind of guide that I once looked for, "basic but lots of species", this is the one. Hope you enjoy it!
After more than 20 years of birdwatching I have been waiting for a guide like this which covers the whole of Europe, yet which is light and easy to carry. Moreover it contains clear and helpful colour illustrations. My only criticism is that the distribution maps could be a little larger, nevertheless they are clear enough. A welcome addition to the amateur birdwatcher's library, which can easily be taken on any trip to Europe.