Very occasionally white ermine Stoats can be found in the south but these are very scarce. For an area that rarely has any lingering snow there is a strong evolutionary disadvantage to this being expressed as it would make them more vulnerable to predation.
Hello Richard and welcome to the band, I thought a brief description on the effect of wildlife during the winter of 62/63 might help in going some way into answering your question. I have been a little busy just lately so consequently I have only just seen your question indeed in this moment in time I am fitting a new water pump / thermostat housing / cam belt to the car, so much for modern cars and red anti –freeze say no more!
Nevertheless, rechecking my local little owl boxes I still have some that are in need of repair so one could say being in retirement means very little.
However, being a member of the farming community with many likewise friends up and down the country we did witness quite a few unusual incidents during the winter of 62/63(I include my loose association with the shooting game keeper fraternity, but may I just say it always pays to stay in touch with such people.)
But to return to the main question, animals being not normally associated with gardens and bird tables did visit, this also included deer, foxes, stoats, and birds whom back then where not normal visitors to our garden.
Many farmland animals also died of starvation as we were unable to reach them do to the depth of the snow drifts some being up to twenty five feet deep, indeed in my case the only way one could walk in the countryside at all was to walk upon the top of the hedgerows where one would see grey squirrels striping the bark off trees being the only form of food they could find.
But despite our best efforts many birds did still die, wrens for instance lost up to eighty per cent of their population with up to fifty per cent of the overrule population of bird species dying. Due to the prolonged snow fall / weather conditions lasting into early March, the ponds and lakes were also frozen over causing the water birds to seek shelter from predation in some cases in farmyards. But alas reading from my notes I did witness waders and ducks falling prey to foxes and ferule cats during this time a most unusual sight being very weak from hunger laying in the hedgerows and fields their blood spattered upon the snow.
Due to my very life style I do spend quite a lot of time in the countryside therefor I do tend to see many incidents associated with wildlife behaviour, but I can honestly say I have never seen a stoat in ermine or even piebald and neither have my friends in the farming community throughout the country due to its very rarity. Therefor unless we have a very long harsh winter with long period of remaining snow fall I would not expect to see stoats turning white, not in the south anyhow.
Nevertheless, I feel I must apologise for frequently jumping from one subject to next it is an age thing, however I did read the following somewhere just recently although it is not meant to be understood literally but it is still connected to the natural world...
If you can talk to animals they will talk to you and you will know each other. If you do not talk with them you will not know them and what you do not know you will fear and what one fears one destroys.
Chief Dan George
Do not let the poisons of the world pull you from your path, wise words indeed from...