One way to get a clear close-up photograph of a nervous bird such as the Eastern Phoebe sometimes involves both wile and prior planning. This ploy has worked well for me.
Pick an exposed, open location, such as a marsh or meadow, which is bordered by small trees and shrubbery. Pace off about ten steps from the edge and drive a four foot stake into the ground. Paint the top of the post with Tanglefoot or other sticky adhesive. When a bird lands it will become stuck in the glue. After it calms down it will accept it's fate and cease flopping about, which will allow you to approach it at your leisure to take as many pictures as you desire.
After you have taken your photos, merely snip off the bird's feet with a large scissors. It will fly off to die somewhere else while you wait for another bird to land.
Tomorrow: Birding With Mousetraps.
Wishing you all good luck and better pictures!
(Yeah, I know ....)