This is the Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus), a year round resident here who always seems to be more visible in the winter. I think it's because these large members of the sparrow family like to hang out in bushes where they can hide behind dense leaves during the summer. When the leaves fall they become more visible.
Nearly two years ago I posted another photo of this bird and if you click HERE you can see today's post and that post together for a comparison. The older post was taken with a different camera (Sony Alpha 200 - 10 megapixel sensor) and an old Minolta 75-300 mm zoom lens. Today's shot was taken with a newer camera (Sony Alpha A55 - 16 megapixel sensor) and a new Tamron 70-300 mm zoom lens. Most of the improvement visible in the more recent photo can be credited to the improved kit since the settings were nearly the same. However, I think my technique is getting a little better too since the most recent photo was shot with a smaller aperture that contributed to the increased sharpness.