House Finches are among the commonest birds of local suburbia. They frequent feeders, often in small groups, and nest in ornamental conifers and hanging baskets. They do pretty well here and pay the rent with cheerful song.
Thus it seems odd to see one all alone out at the edge of a marsh. A closer look and the discrepancy is explained. This female, who is munching on the remains of last year's Pacific crab apple crop, is a chunkier, larger-headed bird with more distinct facial markings, bolder streaking on the body, and a clearly notched tail. Alone, at water's edge, far from human habitation. She isn't a House Finch, but rather the much more seldom-seen (at least for me) Purple Finch.