The problem is to do with Safari 4’s “Top Sites” feature, which shows you a pretty grid of thumbnails for the sites you visit most regularly (or that you have pinned in place). The interesting thing is that these thumbnails are live (ish) previews of what those pages currently look like. If you don’t happen to have a Top Sites page open in a tab, and if Safari considers that the current thumbnail is sufficiently out of date, it will automatically go and retrieve the latest version.
At Skyscanner, for example, we noticed this because Google Analytics was showing an unusually high number of Safari users (8.5%) with an abnormally high bounce rate (the proportion of sessions where users view a single page, then walk away with no further interaction): Safari 4 users were twice as likely to bounce as other browsers. Useless sessions generated by Top Sites were the problem.