The Lee and Birch Dowitcher article is in my opinion one of the most unfortunate and misleading ID articles ever published in BIRDING.
Depending on posture and photo angle the “loral angle” is a highly plastic and basically useless field mark.
About a year or so after this article came out I took about a dozen photos of an actively feeding basic plumaged Long-billed Dowitcher at Crescent City, CA. The apparent loral angle was all over the map from non-existent (flat) to quite steep. Feathers and skin move which results in changes in facial expression just like in other animals, albeit more subtle in birds.
If you can share the photos without the graphic overlay this bird might be easier to ID.
If one is interested in more helpful ID tips for dowitchers Claudia Wilds’ article in BIRDING many years earlier has stood the test of time and the illustrations in the Sibley Guides are also very well done.
…… in a flooded pasture near Brownsmead, Clatsop County, shows field marks for Short-billed, which is not expected as a migrant for another month. The “loral angle” holds up for Short-billed as well, nearly 30 degrees, well within the range for Short-billed but practically outside the range for Long-billed. ID source: