We have a perching bird that appears to be brown above, whitish below with some spots. The head is blocked by a branch, as is most of the tail. There’s still plenty to see.
Among the brown birds, we have sparrows, wrens, thrushes, Brown Creeper, a flycatcher or two, Horned Lark, some swallows, Brown Thrasher, and Ovenbird. Clearly it’s not a lark, creeper, swallow or flycatcher. No wren has spotting like this bird, so we’re down to sparrows, thrushes, and Brown Thrasher.
The bird looks a bit big and long for most sparrows. Fox Sparrow is a possibility, but that should be redder and is more streaked than spotted. Song Sparrows would show a more patterned face.
Brown Thrasher is bigger and redder. The tail is huge, which would be noticeable, even mostly hidden here. So we’re down to thrushes. Wood Thrush would be more heavily spotted. Although the Catharus species are very difficult, we have a shortcut here. This is a winter photo, and Hermit Thrush is the only thrush that wouldn’t be extraordinary in midwinter.
Here’s another view, which shows the face much better.
I actually did have a guess this week. It wasn’t Hermit Thrush, but it’s a start. One of these weeks (although I’m skipping another week now as I was away over the weekend and didn’t get anything together).