I wonder if my experiences with Nelson's might be of help to others
looking for this relatively difficult species. My experience (and it's
based on only 4 birds - so NOT a big sample size), is that they give you
one good chance to get a reasonable view: when I first came on each of
the four birds that have turned up at the Brattleboro Retreat Meadows
they flushed up almost from my feet from thick thigh-height vegetation.
So, my first views of the birds were of them in flight. Luckily, their
back and mantle coloration small size, tail shape (if you can see it)
and relatively weak flight are distinctive enough to alert one to the
possibility that the LBJ flying away from you could be a Nelson's. Each
of the 4 birds then landed close to the top of a clump of weeds as tho
to get a good look at the huge lumbering beast that had almost trodden
on them. After watching me for a minute or two (and thereby allowing me
a good view of them!) they flew down into the thick vegetation and went
into "mouse mode" and no amount of pleading, pishing or prayer could get
them back into the open (even when tried after another day had elapsed).
Obviously, one can't generalize too much about behavior from n=4,
however my feeling is that it is quite a difficult little bird and it
helps if you can get it right first time. They certainly have not given
me any second chances!
Hector Galbraith PhD
Galbraith Environmental Sciences LLC
837 Camp Arden Rd., Dummerston, VT05301
802 258 4836 (phone)