So, when I glanced out the back patio door and saw this (click on any image to enlarge)...
I just knew this wasn't some plain ol' male House Finch. It was something different! I went to my master bedroom bay window which gives me a closer look and started snapping photos with my non-professional camera, again through window glass covered with rain drops. I took 90 pictures hoping a few would turn out okay.
Here is a closer view:
Yes, it is kind of male House Finch-like, but notice how much more the red on this guy's cap contrasts? Also note the lack of streakiness on the breast and flanks.
This last shot shows the reddish-pink on the breast.
Know what it is yet?
A Cassin's Finch! I've only seen them six other times, and never this close. It's always exciting to have a new yard bird too.
One last photo for David Sibley's sake...notice the false face?!