[quote=pshute;2023815]I haven't actually seen this Collins Guide, but I wonder if the problem is that you just can't fit enough pictures into a book small enough to be called a field guide in order to cover all the plumage variations. How many species does the Collins Guide cover?
I guess we're wandering off topic a bit and into generalities, but for your information the 2009 edition of the 'Collins Bird Guide' by Svesson et al covers 713 species in full plus 59 vagrants (all briefly described, most illustrated by a single portrait) with another 32 likely escapes/feral birds given similar treatement. Hence not that different from Australian guides.
Its, however, a 'standard' sized filed guide in the 'Collins' tradition rather than the preferred (to me) 'tall and thin' style utilized by Slatter and Morecombe. Incidentally this style was pioneered in the UK (as was 'block' treatment [as against plate/text segregation], multiple images and annotated illustrations) by the flawed, but much under rated 'Birdwatchers' Pocket Guide' by Hayman & Hume (particularly the more recent 'European' version). Sadly, the most recent editions of this book also illustrate what happens when publishers and/or designers seem to have the whip hand rather than authors/birders. One of the great strengths of Morecombe's book is that his publisher seems to have given him a free hand making it, arguably, the most user friendly guide I know,