It seems like you are experiencing some temporally-localized interference. If you look at a short enough slice of time, the photodiode might pick up the constantly shifting course of constructive and destructive interference that is basically what its called speckle.
Laser Diode Modules have a fair amount of noise if you look on a very short time scale. The total noise is a combination from multiple sources including but not limited to power supply noise, mode hopping, thermal effects, and optical feedback. These noise sources can be severely reduced by using a low-noise power supply and a heat sink or preferably a Thermo-electrically cooled (TEC) laser. In order for a laser to have a perfectly consistent output even on that small of a time scale, the necessary controls need to be designed in from the ground up, which is generally not the case with laser diode modules.