British Waterfowl Association

Welsh Harlequin

Welsh Harlequin drake
Welsh Harlequin Drake — Morag Jones

The bright and attractive plumage of the Welsh Harlequin is wild-colour genotype except for harlequin phase (lih/lih), dusky (md/md) and brown dilution (d/[d]).

Heavy duck breed

Domesticated Mallard Anas platyrhynchos

The Welsh Harlequin is a breed originating in 1949. Group Captain Leslie Bonnet, from Hertfordshire, discovered a colour mutation among his Khaki Campbells. When he moved to Criccieth, north-west Wales, he began breeding selectively for the trait and adopted the name ‘Welsh Harlequin’. The name may have been a cunning marketing ploy, but it caught on. By 1968, he began to send eggs overseas including to the United States. 

Welsh Harlequin ducks
Welsh Harlequin Ducks — Rhys Llewelyn

Welsh Harlequins were saved from extinction by Edward Grayson from Lancashire, who had ducks from Bonnet’s strain. After the loss of some of Bonnet’s original stock, the Lancashire birds rejuvenated the breed. Methodical and dedicated, Grayson was instrumental in establishing the Welsh Harlequin Duck Club. The breed standard was first published by the BWA and later accepted by the Poultry Club of Great Britain.

Welsh Harlequin duck
Welsh Harlequin Duck — Morag Jones

These are alert and slightly upright ducks that are easy on the eye and are passably good layers.