tedster - 6:24 pm on Feb 5, 2012 (gmt 0)
There have been several mentions of this kind of burst in non-converting traffic in both our January and February Update Threads [webmasterworld.com...] In fact, members have been noticing it off and on for several years, but so far there's no comprehensive understanding of what it represents. Guesses, yes - along the lines of some kind of statistical sampling or testing. But that's still pretty vague.
In addition, note this current thread: Random Bursts of Traffic to Random Pages [webmasterworld.com] - That may also be related to your question.
Your observation about a burst following soon after a Reconsideration Request is a new element. However, I'm not sure about a real cause and effect relationship for two reasons:
1. Certainly many of the previous reports were not about a Reconsideration Request. In fact, many of them watched this pattern appear and disappear over extended periods of time.
2. Two days after submission would be pretty fast for a human instigated action (things have seemed more backed up than that for awhile) and slow for an automated trigger.